Baseball: ThunderBolts stumble 9-3 vs. River City Rascals
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 4, 2014 9:36PM
Updated: July 6, 2014 9:59AM
For the Windy City ThunderBolts, the motto is simple when it comes to pitching.
“We want guys to come in and throw strikes,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “Get ahead in counts, let the ball get put in play and let our defense make plays.”
Windy City has been successful in that regard most nights this season. Entering Wednesday’s game, the T-Bolts had allowed a Frontier League-low 44 walks in 16 games.
Wednesday, though, was an ugly night on the mound for Windy City. Five T-Bolts pitchers combined to walk eight, hit a batter and allow 13 hits as the River City Rascals rolled to a 9-3 win before a crowd of 2,809 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
River City (12-5) clinched the series win, beating the T-Bolts (8-9) for the second straight day and handing Windy City its fifth loss in six games.
The T-Bolts held an early 2-0 lead and were up 2-1 after three innings before things went badly for Windy City and starter Jake Fisher in the fourth.
The inning started harmless enough, with Fisher retiring two of the first three hitters. With two outs, though, seven straight River City batters reached base.
The result was a six-run inning that gave the Rascals the lead for good. The highlights for River City were a two-run single by Bryan Aanderud and a two-run double by Saxon Butler.
Aanderud, a rookie, did not have a professional RBI before Wednesday, when he drove in four runs.
Fisher (1-3) allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out two.
River City added two runs, thanks to four straight walks, in the seventh.
The T-Bolts finished with seven hits, but had multiple hits in an inning just once, in the second.
Ty Stetson fouled off three two-strike pitches before drawing a leadoff walk in the first. He moved to third on a pair of bunts and scored on Kyle Robinson’s sacrifice fly.
Stetson, who added a single in the fifth, has done well in the leadoff spot since the T-Bolts signed the rookie May 28. He’s hitting .292, and has given Windy City a needed boost as regular leadoff man Evan Button has been slowed by a leg injury.
“We like what we’ve seen from (Stetson),” Biga said. “He’s come in, he’s hitting the ball, he’s finding ways to get on base and he’s having good at-bats.”
Doug Joyce singled in Andrew Brauer in the second and Robinson doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth for Windy City.