T-Bolts split doubleheader with Rockford
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 5, 2012 10:58PM
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:10AM
With a quarter of the Frontier League season left to play, Windy City ranks near the top of the seven clubs in the running for the four-team playoff format.
The ThunderBolts have been jockeying with Gateway and Schaumburg for first place in the West Division and Sunday night they maintained their position in the postseason chase with a doubleheader split against the Rockford RiverHawks at Standard Bank Stadium.
Designated hitter Chad Cregar had two hits and drove in two runs in the 8-4 opening-game victory before Rockford rebounded with a 5-1 win in the nightcap, keeping Windy City (41-30) from reaching 13 games over .500 for the first time this season.
“We didn’t swing the bats, we didn’t get anything going the whole night,’’ manager Morgan Burkhart said of the ThunderBolts being held to four hits in the second game after getting 12 in the opener.
Windy City took two out of three from Rockford (31-41) after losing two of three on the road to East Division leader Traverse City.
“I would have liked to have had the third one, too,’’ Burkhart said of the Rockford series. Blayne Weller (4-2) took the loss in the second game, allowing five runs on eight hits over four innings.
“Every series from here on out is important, every game will be big,’’ Cregar said. “You can’t give away at-bats. It’s the dog days of August.’’
Starter Dustin Williams (10-4) gave up four runs over five innings in the opener and Michael Click and Andrew Chilcoat tossed an inning apiece. Two seven-inning games were played Sunday after Saturday night’s contest was rained out.
Chris Wade was 3-for-4 with two runs in the first game for the T-Bolts, who led 7-1 after four innings. Cregar was 2-for-4 in the opener and ranked second in the league in home runs (23) and RBI (70) before Sunday’s action.
“I’m not a stat rat,’’ Cregar said. “Hopefully, they’ll all add up well at the end of the year.’’
Windy City plays nine of its next 12 games away from home starting Tuesday with the opener of a road series against Florence (38-32), still a playoff hopeful in the East Division.
“We’re going to have to get on a roll,’’ Burkhart said. “That’s one thing we haven’t done.’’