Baseball: ThunderBolts complete sweep of Frontier Greys
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 9, 2013 10:42PM
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:39AM
One of the lowest points in a 3-11 May for the Windy City ThunderBolts came when they were swept by the Frontier Greys in a three-game series late in the month.
Over the past three days the T-Bolts returned the favor and — though the sweep likely came too late to ignite a run to the postseason — they certainly enjoyed it.
“We were absolutely thinking about that (sweep by the Greys),” T-Bolts shortstop Miles Walding said. “That was in the back of my mind. We definitely had plenty to play for.”
Windy City scored the tying run in the seventh and the winning run in the eighth Friday for its third straight one-run over the Greys, prevailing 4-3 in front of 2,261 fans at Standard Bank Stadium.
The T-Bolts (33-39) took advantage of plenty of help from the Greys (27-45) in the eighth as relievers Ryan Berry and Bryce Shafer combined to walk three batters and hit another.
Ryan Soares scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball with two outs in the frame.
With Michael Click unavailable after throwing 40 pitches Thursday, Reese McGraw got the call in the ninth and set the Greys down in order for his first pro save.
“It was a nice position to come in,” McGraw said. “I’m used to closing in college and it’s always a great feeling getting the last out, but I’m ready for Mike to come back.”
Jake Roberts (1-1) worked a scoreless eighth for the win.
“We have confidence in all our guys in the bullpen,”
T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “These guys come in and get the job done.
“We’ve been talking about playing every game like it’s a playoff game. It comes down to playing solid baseball and letting the other guys make the mistakes.”
Walding, making his first start of the series, provided the game’s biggest hit, singling in Jayce Ray (walk) in the seventh for a 3-all tie.
Mike Torres had an RBI single and Soares a run-scoring groundout in the third.
Windy City starter Travis Tingle allowed three earned runs on seven hits over seven innings.
The T-Bolts were still 7 ½ games — pending Schaumburg’s game late Friday — out of a playoff spot with 24 to go, but they haven’t given up.
“Anything can happen,” McGraw said. “This is what playoff teams do. They start playing well at the end.”
The T-Bolts announced that Markus Solbach will make his first start with the team Saturday night in Washington. Dyllon Nuernberg (swollen ankle) was scratched from his scheduled start.
Before Friday’s game, Windy City traded veteran pitcher Matt Jernstad to the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the American Association, completing the July 17 trade that sent Chase Tucker to the T-Bolts.
Jernstad made his Windy City debut in 2008 and went 20-17 for the team, but hasn’t pitched since May 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.