Baseball: ThunderBolts, Southern Illinois Miners can’t beat the rain
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media May 27, 2014 10:22PM
Updated: June 29, 2014 6:34AM
The worst defense in the Frontier League was at it again Tuesday night in Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
The streaky Windy City ThunderBolts allowed three first-inning runs to the Southern Illinois Miners on two hits and two errors, not long before rains halted play in the bottom of the third inning. The game was postponed for 45 minutes before play was suspended at 8:50 p.m.
The series opener will resume as part of a makeshift doubleheader Wednesday, starting at 5:05 p.m. The second game, which is slated for seven innings, will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
The ThunderBolts are 6-3 in the Frontier League’s West Division. Southern Illinois, which did not go in order through the first three innings, is 3-6.
Southern Illinois scored three runs on a single, double and two errors in the top of the first against Windy City’s Victor Larez (0-0, 3.00 ERA), who threw 35 pitches in the first.
The ThunderBolts came into the game with a league-high 13 errors.
Windy City had two runners on with two outs in the first but failed to score. Mokena’s Andrew Brauer singled in the second, but was left stranded. In the bottom of the third, Ryan Soares singled with two outs before the rains halted play at 8:03 p.m.
Windy City was without left fielder Ryan McIntyre (broken hand), who was put on the 14-day disabled list. He was the first Frontier League West Division Player of the Week this season, hitting .375 with nine runs over the first nine games.
St. Francis graduate David Kuhne took his place and made his pro debut Tuesday, grounding out for the third out of the second inning. Kuhne was signed when McIntyre was placed on the disabled list.
Kuhne, 22, played in 200 games with the Saints, hitting .414 with 10 home runs, 35 RBI and 67 stolen bases in four seasons.
“Dave was an outstanding player at University of St. Francis,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “He has a high on-base percentage, a kid who can go get it and has a good eye at the plate. We have a couple of injuries here and are going to throw him right into the fire and see what happens.”
The projected starting pitchers for the second game Wednesday are Daniel Cropper (1-1, 3.37 ERA) for the T-Bolts and Southern Illinois’ Miguel Ramirez (0-1, 5.58).