Missed opportunity hurts ThunderBolts in loss to Boomers
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media July 22, 2012 9:10PM
Updated: August 24, 2012 6:18AM
Three home runs and one huge missed chance were too much for the Windy City ThunderBolts to overcome Sunday night in the opener of a huge three-game series between the Frontier League West Division’s top two teams.
The Schaumburg Boomers’ Chad Mozingo and Steve McQuail hit two of the longest homers at Standard Bank Stadium this year and former T-Bolt Nick Kuroczko also went deep in the Boomers’ 5-3 win in Crestwood.
Schaumburg (34-24) snapped a five-game losing streak and pulled within a half-game of Windy City (34-23) for the division lead.
“We definitely wanted to get in first and stay in first and we want to win every series,” T-Bolts second baseman Mike Torres said after going 3-for-4 with two doubles. “We lost this one, so we need to win the next two.
“We had our chances (Sunday), but it’s baseball. Sometimes you fail and today we failed.”
The T-Bolts were left to kick themselves about eight men stranded on base and in particular about the opportunity they wasted in the sixth inning.
Down 3-2, Windy City loaded the bases with no outs after Chad Cregar was hit by a pitch and C.J. Gillman and Brandon Decker produced consecutive singles.
Schaumburg starter Cody Griebling (1-1) wiggled out of trouble as Bob Glover flew out to short center, Zach Aakhus popped up and Brandon Pearl struck out.
“That wasn’t something that during the game we got down about,” Torres said. “But afterward, you definitely look back at it.
“You can’t let down after getting on the board. You’ve got to keep the bats going.”
Kuroczko kept the Boomers’ momentum going, leading off the seventh with a homer that made it 4-2.
The T-Bolts got to within one in the bottom of the inning when Travis Weaver doubled and scored on Chris Wade’s groundout, but McQuail responded with a bomb of a home run that easily cleared the left-field wall and sailed deep into the parking lot.
Windy City went down in order in the final two innings, Patrick Mincey working the ninth for his 10th save.
T-Bolts starter Tyson Corley and Griebling both struggled in the first. Schaumburg grabbed a quick 2-0 lead as Karexon Sancez led off the game with a walk before Mozingo hit a blast over the scoreboard.
Griebling failed to retire any of Windy City’s first three hitters as Torres doubled, Wade walked and Cregar singled.
Torres scored on an error and Brandon Decker’s sacrifice fly tied the game.
But exemplifying a common complaint of manager Morgan Burkhart, the T-Bolts failed to keep the offense going after the early outburst.
Corley (1-6) allowed four earned runs on six hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Stephen Sauer (5-4, 3.91 ERA) is set to start the second game of the series for the T-Bolts on Monday. Robby Donovan (6-2, 3.71) is scheduled to come off the injured list to pitch for Schaumburg.