Baseball: Frontier Greys spoil ThunderBolts’ home opener
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 27, 2013 9:36PM
Frontier Greys pitcher Eric Wooten delivers against the Windy City ThunderBolts. | John Booz~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2013 6:37AM
Standard Bank Stadium has developed a reputation in the Frontier League as a place that’s awfully unkind to home run hitters.
Apparently no one told the Frontier Greys.
The first batter of the season to step to the plate at the Crestwood ballpark, Mike Gallic, homered over the left-field wall. Esteban Meletiche later added a controversial two-run shot and the Greys spoiled the Windy City ThunderBolts’ home opener with a 7-2 win in front of 1,216 fans.
The T-Bolts (3-8) provided plenty of help for the Greys (4-6), the travel team run by the league. Windy City committed three key errors and made a pair of costly baserunning blunders.
“We have to stop playing stupid baseball,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “We hit the ball hard, but we make stupid mistakes and that adds up to us scoring two runs.”
After Galic started the game with the longball off Crestwood native Mike Recchia, the Greys added another run with the help of a botched pickoff attempt from Recchia, whose wild throw allowed Justin Vasquez (walk) to score.
In the fourth, Meletiche sent a liner down the left-field line that Recchia and Biga were adamant was foul but was called fair for a two-run homer. That came after first baseman Doug Joyce was unable to catch Mike Torres’ throw to first on what could have been an inning-ending double-play liner.
“It was a tough call to make,” Biga said of the home run. “We should have been out of the inning before that ever happened. We can only blame ourselves.”
The T-Bolts used three straight two-out singles to get on the board in the fourth, with Lyndon Estill driving in Joyce (2-for-4).
Windy City got its leadoff man on in both of the first two innings, but both Ryan Soares in the first and Joyce in the second subsequently were picked off.
Mokena native Andrew Brauer drove in the T-Bolts’ only other run with a seventh-inning single.
The Greys added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh, when a Mike Torres throwing error loomed large.
Recchia (0-2) allowed two earned runs (five total) in 62/3 innings, striking out nine.
Eric Wooten (3-0) earned the win, surrendering two earned runs in 62/3 innings.
Before the game, the T-Bolts announced that starting pitcher Blayne Weller has been signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Weller was 0-1 with a 0.79 ERA in two starts for Windy City this season.
The Key West, Fla., native joined Windy City last season and went 5-3 with a 4.59 ERA in 2012. He’s the sixth member of the 2012 T-Bolts to be signed by a major league organization.