Baseball: ThunderBolts can’t hold lead, bow to Florence Freedom
The Windy City ThunderBolts got plenty of help Wednesday night from a Florence Freedom squad that did everything it could to lose in the first eight innings.
Andy Mee could not finish it off in the ninth, though, blowing a save as Jacob Tanis’ three-run double gave Florence an 11-9 win at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
Tanis cleared the bases after Mee walked them loaded with one out in the ninth.
Florence (16-13) had an awful night defensively, and the T-Bolts (11-19) made the visitors pay when it continued in the seventh.
The first four Windy City hitters reached via a walk, a hit batter and two errors — Florence’s fifth and sixth of the game. That included Mike Torres reaching on an error for the third time, all three coming when a Florence pitcher made a wild throw to first after Torres laid down a sacrifice bunt.
With one run already in and the bases loaded, Ryan Soares lined the first pitch thrown by Brandon Mathes into the left-center field gap to clear the bases and give the T-Bolts a 9-7 lead. Soares had a five-RBI night.
Florence got a run back on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth, but Andy Mee struck out Pablo Bermudez to strand three and keep the lead intact.
The Freedom had gone in front 7-5 with a five-run seventh.
Windy City’s pitchers had flirted with disaster all night as Florence had nine hits through six but just two runs to show for it, the T-Bolts twice getting out of bases-loaded jams.
Florence finally broke through in the seventh as Tyler Claburn allowed two singles, issued a walk and hit Jim Jacquot with the bases loaded before Michael Click entered and surrendered a game-tying two-run double to Gary Owens.
Click then gave up a run-scoring wild pitch and an RBI single to Junior Arrojo.
Windy City broke open a 2-all tie with three runs in the fifth, the big blow a two-run homer from Soares, his second long ball of the year. C.J. Gillman singled and scored on an error earlier in the frame.
Nate Pittman singled to lead off the bottom of the first and scored on an error.
Florence scored single runs in the third and fourth, both on RBI singles from the ninth hitter in the order, Bermudez.
Andrew Brauer doubled for the T-Bolts in the fourth and scored on Doug Joyce’s single to make it 2-2.
Windy City starter Dyllon Nuernberg allowed two earned runs on seven hits in five innings.