Baseball: ThunderBolts defeat Slammers 8-4
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 15, 2013 11:04PM
ThunderBolts' Evan Button singles against the Slammers at Standard Bank Stadium, Thursday, August 15th, 2013 in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 17, 2013 8:24AM
While winning eight of their last nine games, the Windy City ThunderBolts have made a habit out of rallying. When a team jumps ahead on them, they waste no time answering.
That was the case again Thursday night. After Seth Schwindenhammer’s fourth-inning homer gave the Joliet Slammers a 2-0 lead, the T-Bolts scored six times over the fourth and fifth frames and went on to an 8-4 win in the rubber match of the three-game series at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Zach Aakhus, Kyle Robinson and Andrew Brauer (3-for-4) delivered three straight hits, Brauer’s a double that brought in Aakhus with Windy City’s first run.
After Jayce Ray struck out, Chase Tucker drilled a huge two-out, two-run triple off the wall in center field to give the T-Bolts (38-40) the lead.
“I was looking for a fastball and luckily I was able to get a two-out hit,” Tucker said. “There’s no better feeling.
“When we get down, we scratch and claw. We fight. We’re competitors.”
Mike Torres, who hadn’t hit a home run at Standard Bank Stadium in his first three seasons with the T-Bolts, hit his second at the park this year and his third of the season overall with a laser down the right-field line to lead off the fifth.
That chased Joliet starter Shawn Kale (4-3), who allowed four earned runs on seven hits in four-plus innings.
The T-Bolts greeted reliever Chase Doremus with back-to-back singles from Ryan Soares and Chad Cregar. A walk to Aakhus loaded the bases with no outs.
Doremus got Robinson to ground into a double play to limit the damage, but Soares scored on the grounder and Cregar came home on a wild pitch to give the hosts a 6-2 lead.
Things got interesting in the eighth as the Slammers (32-46) loaded the bases with one out against Reese McGraw thanks to a hit batter, an error and a walk.
Grant DeBruin then sent a liner down the left-field line that appeared to land in foul ground, but originally was called fair, apparently resulting in a two-run double.
After T-Bolts manager Ron Biga and several players objected, the umpires huddled and changed the call to foul, prompting an equally spirited argument from Joliet manager Mike Breyman.
After DeBruin’s flyout, Schwindenhammer (3-for-4) continued his hot hitting, singling in two and taking second on the throw home to put runners at second and third with two outs.
McGraw then struck out pinch-hitter Chuck Lofgren — a starting pitcher — to escape with a 6-4 lead.
The T-Bolts got those two runs right back in the bottom of the inning as Brauer doubled and scored on a balk and Torres (3-for-4) produced an RBI single.
Schwindenhammer, making his first start of the series, hit his fifth homer of the season with a two-run shot off Windy City starter Markus Solbach.
Those were the only runs Solbach (3-0) surrendered over five innings despite allowing seven hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Nick Akins went 4-for-5 for Joliet.