Pearl’s effort goes for naught for ThunderBolts
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 14, 2012 10:54PM
Updated: July 16, 2012 6:24AM
Brandon Pearl did all he could to play the hero for the Windy City ThunderBolts with his bat Thursday night.
But after Pearl’s three-run home run tied the game in the eighth inning, the T-Bolts could not hold down the Southern Illinois Miners in the 10th, falling 8-5 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
Windy City closer Tyson Corley (0-2) struggled in the 10th, allowing a single and two walks before departing without recording an out.
The Miners (16-9) scored on a passed ball, a Ken Gregory sacrifice fly and an Elliot Hagburg single.
Max Peterson pitched the bottom of the frame for his ninth save. Anthony Collazzo (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings.
The T-Bolts (13-10) trailed 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth when Bryan Burke and Jareck West drew consecutive walks off Southern Illinois reliever Ben Shivers to start the frame.
That set the stage for Pearl, who had one of the T-Bolts’ two hits entering the inning, an RBI single in the third.
This time, the No. 9 hitter in the order did a lot more damage, tying the game with his first career home run, a no-doubter to left.
The game was a pitchers’ duel through six before the Miners broke it open in the seventh, scoring three times to take a 5-1 lead.
After a leadoff walk to Sean Harrell chased T-Bolts starter Blayne Weller, Cannon Lester singled off reliever Michael Click. The Miners had runners at second and third with two outs when the T-Bolts made the surprising decision to intentionally walk left-handed-hitting Jake Kaase.
That set up a righty-righty matchup, but it was against Chad Maddox, the Frontier League leader in RBI. Maddox made Windy City pay, clearing the bases with a three-run bloop single.
Brandon Decker increased his hitting streak to 11 games with a solo homer in the seventh, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
Weller allowed three earned runs on five hits in six-plus innings. He struck out five and walked two.
The Miners scored twice off Weller in the second on Harrell’s groundout and Phillip Butler’s single.
Southern Illinois starter Cody Hall was brilliant in his pro debut, allowing one run on one hit in six innings.