Baseball: Grizzlies outslug ThunderBolts
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 21, 2012 11:04PM
Updated: September 23, 2012 6:12AM
With ace Mike Recchia going to the mound Tuesday for the opener of a huge three-game series with the Gateway Grizzlies, the Windy City ThunderBolts had to feel good about their chances of remaining alone atop the Frontier League West Division.
It didn’t happen.
Recchia struck out 15 in six innings, but when the Grizzlies connected, they did so in a big way. Gateway homered three times off the Crestwood native on its way to a 7-4 win at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
The teams are tied for first with 49-36 records with 11 games left. Both got help as Schaumburg lost to remain one game behind while wild-card contenders Southern Illinois and Lake Erie also fell.
Recchia, who allowed seven runs on nine hits in six innings, is just one strikeout shy of tying the Frontier League single-season record of 157 set by teammate Dustin Williams last season. Recchia’s next start figures to be Sunday at Southern Illinois.
Windy City pitchers finished with 19 strikeouts.
Recchia (11-3) was spotted an early 2-0 lead and struck out the first six hitters he faced, but things unraveled in the third.
John Shelby led off the inning with a single and Recchia allowed an RBI double to Richie Jimenez and a run-scoring base hit to Jonathan Johnson before Rogelio Norris crushed a two-run home run to put the visitors on top 4-2.
After Landon Hernandez homered for Gateway in the fourth, the T-Bolts pulled to within 5-4 in the fifth. C.J. Gillman (2-for-3) doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Travis Weaver’s squeeze bunt. Chris Wade singled home Bob Glover (walk) later in the frame.
The Grizzlies responded with two more runs in the sixth as Jon Myers led off with a round-tripper before Shelby doubled and scored on Alex Guthrie’s single.
Recchia struck out the side in the sixth.
The T-Bolts scored twice in the first as Mike Torres (3-for-4) singled before Chad Cregar and Ryan Cuneo produced RBI doubles.