ThunderBolts fall to Schaumburg Boomers 10-3
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 15, 2014 9:28PM
Windy City ThunderBolts catcher Justin Dalles catches a foul ball in Crestwood Sunday, June, 15, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media
Recap: Grant DeBruin hit a solo homer and added an RBI single as Joliet beat Washington Sunday in Washington, Pennsylvania. Jake Hermsen earned the win and Jordan Wellander worked the final four innings for a save for the Slammers. Marquis Riley had three hits for Joliet.
Slammers record: 12-15.
Up next: Normal at Slammers, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, WJOL-AM (1340), wjol.com.
Updated: July 17, 2014 11:25AM
Evaluating his team slightly more than a quarter into the Frontier League season, Windy City ThunderBolts manager Ron Biga is mostly optimistic.
“You can never be totally satisfied when you’re under .500, but we’re not totally disappointed either,” he said. “We think we’re better than our record. We think we have a good team here. We just need to string together some wins.”
For the T-Bolts to do that, they’ll need better starting pitching. Unlike Windy City’s bullpen, which has been lights out, the rotation has struggled since losing Dyllon Nuernberg to injury and Markus Solbach to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A day after starter Jason Kafka failed to get into the fifth inning, Daniel Cropper allowed seven runs over the first two innings Sunday. The Schaumburg Boomers went on to pile up 18 hits, rolling to a 10-3 victory to clinch the series win at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
After a leadoff walk came around to score for Schaumburg (15-12) in the first, Cropper gave up six runs on eight hits in the second inning.
The first eight men to come to the plate in the second all reached base. Sean Mahley, Jordan Dean and Ryan Solberg provided RBI singles and Justin Vasquez had a two-run double.
Cropper (2-4) managed to gut out a 51/3-inning effort for the T-Bolts (11-15), but allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits.
Windy City also committed four errors.
Offensively, the T-Bolts continue to produce hits but struggle to drive in runs. After scoring just two runs on nine hits Saturday, they had 11 hits Sunday but managed just three runs.
Two of those came on a pair of solo home runs from Kyle Robinson, who went deep to left in the sixth and eighth innings to increase his long ball total to three for the season.
It was the first time this season Windy City hit multiple homers in a home game.
“Those were nice, but you have to take it with a grain of salt because we didn’t get the win,” Robinson said. “It was a tough day, starting with that six-spot in the second. We still hit the ball hard, but hit it right at people a lot.”
Ryan Soares (2-for-4) singled home Mike Torres in the fourth for the other T-Bolts tally, but that rally was thwarted by a line-drive double play hit into by Jon Mestas.
The T-Bolts are back in action Tuesday to open a three-game home series with Florence.
“We’re getting good at-bats, just not timely hits,” Soares said. “I feel like a lot of us are starting to come around with our bats. I think we’re close to reeling off a nine- or 10-game win streak if we can come up with some big hits.”