T-Bolts earn first three-game sweep of season, oust Otters
Only his teammate Zach Aakhus has played more games as a member of the Windy City ThunderBolts, but in his 343rd game with the team Saturday night, Mike Torres accomplished a first: he hit a home run at Standard Bank Stadium.
Torres’ three-run blast in the third inning, his fourth career homer, got the T-Bolts rolling as they finished off their first three-game series sweep of the season and won for the fourth straight time, topping the Evansville Otters 8-3 in front of 2,145 fans in Crestwood.
“I hoped I’d hit one here some time,” Torres said. “(Former T-Bolt) Brandon Anderson and myself have hit about 100 fly balls to the warning track out there (in right-center field). I got a little help from the wind. It was exciting.”
Torres came to the plate with two on and two outs and ripped an 0-1 pitch from Evansville starter Ryan Zamorsky for a line drive home run that went over the fence near the scoreboard in right-center.
“I saw the way (Zamorsky) had been pitching Evan Button, because we’re similar hitters,” Torres said. “He threw two straight breaking balls to (him) and he started me out with one, so I looked for another one and got it.”
Torres’ bomb tied the game 3-3 and the T-Bolts (27-34) broke it open with four runs in the sixth.
Torres started that rally with a single and scored on a triple from Ryan Soares (2-for-4). After Kyle Robinson (2-for-4) singled in Soares, Andrew Brauer (3-for-3) roped a double into the left-center field gap.
The Otters (28-31) had a play on Robinson at the plate, but shortstop Taylor Black’s relay throw sailed high and into the stands behind home plate.
Brauer was headed towards third on throw and awarded home plate on the error, making it 7-3.
“Right now everyone is hitting and everyone is looking to pick each other up,” Brauer said. “We have a great team atmosphere. I was happy to contribute, but I felt like the big momentum swing was (Torres’ homer).”
Robinson doubled home Chad Cregar, who had also doubled, in the eighth for the final tally.
“Chad’s presence in the lineup has made a big difference,” Torres said. “(Getting a sweep) means a lot. It shows that we’re hopefully turning over a new leaf. Winning is contagious.”
Windy City starter Brian Oliver, meanwhile, allowed an unearned run in the second and gave up two earned in the third, but settled down from there.
He went seven innings, holding Evansville to six hits while striking out and walking two. He improved to 3-6.
Jake Roberts tossed two scoreless innings to finish off the sweep.
“The All-Star break helped us regroup a bit and now we’re coming out and showing what we can do,” Brauer said.