Baseball: ThunderBolts get lift from Robinson
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 13, 2014 10:50PM
Washington 6, Slammers 5
Recap: Steward Ijames’ RBI single in the bottom of the 11th broke a 5-5 tie and lifted Washington past Joliet on Friday night in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Slammers record: 11-14.
Up next: Slammers at Washington, 6:05 p.m. Saturday, wjol.com.
Updated: June 14, 2014 3:03PM
When the Windy City ThunderBolts needed a spark Friday night, it’s no surprise Kyle Robinson was the one to provide it.
With the T-Bolts down 2-1, Robinson came to the plate to lead off the sixth and fouled off a pair of full-count pitches from Schaumburg Boomers starter Cal Bowling. Robinson then parked a double into the left-center field gap. Standing at second base, he gestured to the T-Bolts dugout and screamed ‘Let’s go.’
“That’s our Nelson Cruz ‘shooter’ thing we came up with,” Robinson said of the gesture. “It’s just something fun to keep it loose.
“(Bowling) was throwing some good pitches and I just fought them off until I got one I could drive.”
Windy City went on to score twice in the inning to take the lead for good, defeating the defending Frontier League champion Boomers 4-2 in front of 1,654 fans in the series opener at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
Robinson, who added an RBI single in the seventh, was largely responsible for inflating Bowling’s pitch count. The sixth-inning at-bat was the third straight in which he saw at least seven pitches.
“He’s really being patient at the plate and he’s putting together very good at-bats,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said.
Evan Button (2-for-3) moved Robinson to third with a single and Andrew Brauer drove him in with a game-tying groundout. Jon Mestas (2-for-4) then singled home Button to give the T-Bolts (11-13) the lead.
The rally made a winner of Windy City starter Travis Tingle (2-1), who held Schaumburg (13-12) to two runs — just one earned — on seven hits over 62/3 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
“It’s nice to get a win because that’s your stat as a pitcher, but when we came in on a bit of a slump (having lost two straight and six of eight), it’s so much more important that the team got the win,” Tingle said. “They always say that a good pitcher in a rotation is the guy that can come out when you’re on a losing streak and stop it.”
The Boomers got two runs thanks to three hits and a key Ryan Soares error in the second, but Tingle got Bobby Martin to bounce into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to limit the damage.
The T-Bolts manufactured a run in the fourth as Button singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on Brauer’s groundout and scored on Mestas’ groundout.
Jessie Snodgrass pitched 11/3 scoreless innings in relief — stranding an inherited runner at third in the seventh — for the T-Bolts and Reese McGraw struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.