Drake, Chriscaden power ThunderBolts past Miners
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 15, 2012 11:32PM
Updated: July 18, 2012 6:34AM
A pair of newcomers helped the Windy City ThunderBolts earn a much-needed win Friday night.
Donovan Drake allowed one run in six innings to earn his first professional win while Andy Chriscaden’s first professional hit — a home run — jump-started the Windy City offense in a 4-1 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
“It feels good,” Drake said. “Aak (catcher Zach Aakhus) caught a good game and everything was working. We came at them aggressively with fastballs early then threw some sliders later.”
In his second pro start following his senior season this spring at the University of Indianapolis, Drake (1-0) struck out seven and walked two.
The T-Bolts (14-10), which had lost four out of five overall and three out of four at home coming in, struck for three runs in the second to support their rookie pitcher.
Chriscaden, a rookie out of Kennesaw State who was previously 0-for-9 in three games with the club, started the scoring by crushing a solo homer to left. He fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before the bomb.
“(Southern Illinois starter Brian Fowler) had a fastball that I didn’t quite get around on,” Chriscaden said. “I was looking for something offspeed and he hung a slider and I hit it well.
“I love it here. The guys are great and it’s a lot of fun.”
After Billy Nowlin and Jareck West drew walks, Travis Weaver (2-for-3) made it 3-0 with a two-run double.
The T-Bolts’ recent power surge continued as West (2-for-2) hit a solo homer in the seventh, the team’s fourth long ball in two games.
The Miners (16-10) scored their lone run in the sixth on an RBI double by Matt Fields.
Andy Mee tossed 11/3 innings of scoreless relief, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Matt Costello, Tyson Corley and Shane Zegarac followed him.
Zegarac, a Lansing native, worked a perfect ninth for his first save.
“Any win’s big, but to get this one under our belts at home is really big,” Drake said. “Hopefully this will get us on a big run.”