Updated: July 15, 2013 7:40PM
With starter Travis Strong bouncing back from a pair of rough starts to toss a gem Thursday night, the Windy City ThunderBolts needed just one timely hit from a man they will count on for many more this season.
Chad Cregar delivered a two-out, two-strike, two-run double in the third and Strong allowed just one run in six innings for his first T-Bolts victory as Windy City topped the Schaumburg Boomers 2-1 in seven innings in the first game of a doubleheader at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
The Boomers (14-11) snapped a four-game win streak for the T-Bolts (9-16) as four pitchers combined for a shutout in a 2-0 win in Game 2.
In the opener, Ryan Soares was on base via an error and Zach Aakhus reached on a single before Cregar came to the plate and drove a 2-2 pitch from Danny Jimenez into the right-field corner to drive in the game-winning runs.
“My previous at-bat I had two strikes and (Jimenez) came at me inside and got me to roll over to first base,” Cregar said. “I got two strikes again and I cheated inside. I didn’t get great wood on it but I got enough to get a double out of it.”
After a slow start, Cregar has heated up. He was 7-for-14 with five RBI in Windy City’s three previous wins before Thursday.
“Everything is clicking,” he said. “Hitting, pitching. Baseball is a fun game when you win.”
Strong (1-3), who gave up 11 earned runs in nine innings over his previous two starts, allowed four hits and struck out five.
Schaumburg’s only run came on a Steve McQuail homer in the fourth.
“I had command of my fastball and I just went after people with my strengths,” Strong said. “My fastball-slider combo was on. After the last couple starts, this is definitely a big confidence boost.”
The Boomers had runners at second and third with one out in the seventh, but Michael Click struck out Mike Valadez and Mike Demperio to record his second save.
All the scoring in Game 2 came in the top of the second as Alexi Colon hit a solo shot and Craig Hertlet produced an RBI single off Windy City starter Travis Tingle.
Tingle (0-2) took the loss despite allowing just one earned run in four innings.
Earlier Thursday, the T-Bolts signed outfielder Nathan Pittman. Pittman just finished his senior season at Florida Atlantic, hitting .330 with five home runs and 14 stolen bases. He recorded his first pro hit with a single in Game 2.