ThunderBolts knocked around by Freedom
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 8, 2012 11:26PM
Updated: July 11, 2012 10:21AM
The Windy City ThunderBolts entered Friday’s game with the best ERA in the Frontier League by a healthy margin.
One bad night changed that.
The Florence Freedom scored eight times on just four hits in the fourth inning on its way to an 11-7 win over the T-Bolts in front of 2,039 fans at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
All 11 runs were earned, and Windy City’s ERA rose from 2.62 to 3.09, which now ranks second in the league behind Joliet.
Before the game, T-Bolts manager Morgan Burkhart stressed the need for Windy City, which ranks eighth in the league in runs, to get its offense going.
“Our defense has been good and our pitching has been even better,” Burkhart said. “We just need to get our offense going. We’ve started to do some good things, but we need more hits with runners in scoring position.”
The T-Bolts (11-6) quickly answered that call, scoring five times in the second.
But their 5-2 lead disappeared in a hurry with the disastrous fourth.
Florence (10-9) sent 12 men to the plate in the inning, with three walks and two hit batters leading to big problems for Windy City. Peter Fatse had the big blow in the frame with a three-run triple.
Windy City starter Dustin Williams (2-2) lasted just 32/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs on only four hits. He walked four and hit two while striking out seven.
Florence did all its scoring in a four-inning frame, with single runs in the second, third and fifth.
Billy Nowlin (3-for-4, 3 RBI) led the T-Bolts offense. His two-run double was the biggest hit in the five-run third.
Windy City also scored in the third on a Chris Wade bases-loaded walk, a Mike Torres RBI single and a Chad Cregar sacrifice fly.
Nowlin added a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Brandon Decker homered for the second straight night with a solo shot in the sixth to complete the scoring.
Burkhart was ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Matt Moore after the sixth inning ended.
Florence’s Mike Hanley (1-0) allowed one earned run in 22/3 innings of relief for the win.
Jose Velazquez worked the final three innings for his first save for the Freedom.