Baseball: ThunderBolts rally in ninth to defeat Frontier Greys 9-8
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 8, 2013 10:40PM
Updated: August 8, 2013 10:49PM
A four-run rally in the eighth inning Thursday night proved not to be enough for the Windy City Thunderbolts. So the T-Bolts did it again in the ninth.
After a rare blown save from Michael Click, the T-Bolts scored twice in the bottom of the ninth as Andrew Brauer provided the game-tying single and Jayce Ray the game-winner as Windy City outlasted the Frontier Greys 9-8 in a wild affair in front of 1,558 fans at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
With one out, Kyle Robinson (5-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 runs) started the ninth-inning rally with his fifth hit of the night, a double off Greys closer Bryce Shafer (0-4). Mokena resident Andrew Brauer followed with a game-tying single and took second on the throw to the plate.
Ray followed with a single to left and, when left fielder Mark Micowski bobbled the ball, Brauer dashed home to give the T-Bolts (32-39) the win.
“I’d been taking awful swings all week,” Ray said. “I’ve been working with (hitting coach Pete Pirman) and he’s been telling me to stay back and that’s what I did. This team’s hungry. Click’s been huge for us all year and we had to pick him up.”
Click (2-0) saw his scoreless-inning streak snapped at 191/3 as he walked two and allowed two singles in the ninth. In a 7-6 game with runners at second and third and two outs, Blake Bergeron fouled off five straight two-strike pitches before lining a two-run single up the middle.
Down 5-3 in the eighth, the T-Bolts exploded for four runs in the bottom of the frame.
Robinson delivered his first Windy City homer to start the inning to cut the deficit to one.
“It was a special night,” Robinson said. “This is what baseball’s all about. This is what good teams do.”
The Greys seemed set to escape with the lead intact when Ryan Woolley appeared to have Ray picked off at first for the third out. First baseman Nick DelGuidice blew the rundown, though, chasing Ray all the way to second and failing to make a tag.
Evan Button made the visitors pay, tying the game with a base hit up the middle. Mike Torres then provided a go-ahead hit in the eighth for the second straight night, singling in Button for a 6-5 Windy City lead.
Ryan Soares followed with another RBI single for an insurance run.
The Greys’ Eric Availa gave his team a 5-3 lead with a two-out, two-run triple in the seventh.
T-Bolts starter Brian Oliver allowed five earned runs on nine hits over 62/3 innings.
Robinson provided a two-run single in the first and an RBI double in the third.