Decker delivers big blow for ThunderBolts
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 11, 2012 11:06PM
Brandon Decker, of the ThunderBolts, drives in the go-ahead run against Evansville. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 11, 2012 2:08AM
Brandon Decker picked a good time to extend his hitting streak.
Decker’s two-out single in the bottom of the seventh Saturday night scored Mike Torres with the go-ahead run as the Windy City ThunderBolts topped the Evansville Otters 5-3 in front of 3,055 fans at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
After Evansville (36-41) tied the game with two runs in the top of the seventh, Torres (3 runs) reached on an error to start the bottom of the frame.
He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third, where he was with two outs after C.J. Gillman struck out.
Decker, who had been 0-for-3, delivered a clutch single to right to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, tying Torres for the team high this season.
“I just wanted to try to get it done for my team,” Decker said. “We got a big hit from (Chris) Wade and (Blayne) Weller pitched great. It’s a big win.”
The T-Bolts (45-31) extended their lead in the Frontier League West Division to a game over Gateway — pending the outcome of the Grizzlies’ game — and 2½ games over Schaumburg.
Windy City added a run in the eighth as Zach Aakhus singled and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder from Wade (2-for-3, 3 RBI).
Weller was terrific through six, but allowed three straight two-out singles in the seventh.
The third was Taylor Black’s RBI base hit, and an error by Aakhus on the play allowed another run to score to tie the game at 3.
Weller struck out 11 in 62/3 innings, allowing two earned runs (three total) on eight hits.
Michael Click (2-1) retired the only man he faced for the win and Willy Kesler recorded his third save.
The game was tied at 1 — the T-Bolts scoring on Gillman’s single in the third — before Wade launched a two-run homer in the fifth.
Wade’s third home run of the season and second in four games sailed just over the wall and just fair down the left-field line.
“I don’t think about (home runs),” Wade said. “I was just trying to hit a line drive and was happy to see it go out. It was a great win after losing (Friday).”