Baseball: ThunderBolts knock off Slammers 4-2
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 14, 2013 10:20PM
Updated: September 17, 2013 7:51AM
Wednesday’s game got off to an inauspicious start for Windy City ThunderBolts pitcher Travis Tingle. The Joliet Slammers’ first hitter of the night, Darian Sandford, singled, stole second and took the final two bases on consecutive groundouts to give his team an early lead.
After that, though, Tingle was in total cruise control. That was the only earned run he allowed as he went 72/3 innings and the T-Bolts evened the series at a game apiece with a 4-2 win at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
“Sandford is probably the fastest guy I’ve ever played against, so once he got on you knew they were going to do anything they could to get him running and get him home,” Tingle said. “After that, everything was working. Me and (catcher Doug Joyce) were on the same page and first-pitch strikes were huge.”
Tingle (4-5) allowed two runs total on five hits. He struck out five and walked three.
The T-Bolts (37-40) answered Joliet (32-45) with two in the bottom of the first.
Evan Button drew a leadoff walk and scored when Mike Torres drove a triple to the right-center field gap. Torres came home on Ryan Soares’ groundout.
“The offense came right out and picked me up and it was huge,” Tingle said. “The hitters have had our backs these last eight games. We’ve won seven of them. It was my turn to pick them up.”
Former Slammer Kyle Robinson singled to start the bottom of the fifth, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Brauer — another former Slammer — and scored on Joyce’s base hit.
Chad Cregar crushed his fifth home run of the year to straightaway center in the sixth as it sneaked just out of the reach of leaping center fielder Sandford and over the wall to give the T-Bolts a 4-1 lead.
Joliet starter Andrew Busby (0-4) went a career high 62/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits. He struck out one and walked three.
“Outside of a couple of pitches, he did a great job,” Joliet manager Mike Breyman said. “He definitely gave us a chance to win.
“(Tingle) threw strikes and had a great night. It was a good baseball game all-around. We just didn’t hit the ball hard when we needed to.”
Zak Colby’s infield single brought home Kyle Maunus (2-for-4), who had doubled, in the Joliet seventh.
The Slammers drew back-to-back two-out walks in the eighth to chase Tingle, but Jessie Snodgrass struck out Niko Vasquez looking on a 3-and-2 pitch to end the threat. Vasquez was ejected for arguing the call.
“That was big,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “(Snodgrass) battled back from 3-0 and he got a ball over the plate. Leave it up to the umpires.”
Michael Click worked the ninth for his 18th save.
The Slammers on Tuesday night traded infielder Michael Wing to the Gateway Grizzlies for a player to be named later. Wing hit .210 for Joliet and ranked third on the team with 36 RBI.