ThunderBolts put on power display, beat Slammers
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 23, 2012 10:08PM
Updated: July 25, 2012 6:41AM
With the Windy City ThunderBolts and Joliet Slammers getting strong pitching, Saturday’s game came down to one big inning and a rare power surge for the T-Bolts.
Chad Cregar and Brandon Decker each homered in a three-run sixth to lift Windy City to a 4-2 win in the opener of a three-game series between the rivals in front of 2,992 fans at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
Joliet (16-18) scored twice in the top of the sixth to go up 2-1 before Windy City (19-13) erupted in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good on its way to its third straight win.
Cregar started the rally, launching his ninth home run of the year to right field. After Andy Chriscaden followed with a single, Decker crushed a go-ahead bomb to right-center, his seventh homer of the season.
“I was just looking for a pitch I could drive and get some runs on the board,” Decker said. “We really wanted to get Dusty (T-Bolts starter Dustin Williams) the win.”
It was the first time this season that Windy City hit two round-trippers in the same inning.
After taking a no-hitter into the fifth, Joliet starter Wander Alvino (1-2) allowed seven hits and four earned runs in 52/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked two.
Decker led off the fifth with the game’s first hit, moved to second on Jareck West’s walk, took third on Zach Aakhus’ sacrifice bunt and scored the game’s first run on Bryan Burke’s single.
Williams took a no-hitter into the sixth, an inning in which three walks hurt him. Zach Mandelblatt broke up the no-no with an RBI single and Erik Lis (walk) scored on an error.
Williams (5-2) went seven innings, allowing one earned run on two hits. He struck out six and walked six.
“My cutter was working good and keeping them off-balance,” Williams said. “I just had to trust my good ‘D’ behind me.”
Three Windy City relievers combined to allow Joliet just one more hit. Lansing native Shane Zegarac worked a perfect ninth for his third save.
“You’ve got to tip your cap to Dusty and our pitcher, Alvino,” Joliet manager Bart Zeller said. “They both pitched great. We just can’t miss our opportunities.”