Baseball: ThunderBolts bow 10-2 to Normal CornBelters
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media July 2, 2014 10:14PM
Thunderbolt's Andrew Brauer chases down a foul ball but doesn't have the reach at Standard Bank Stadium on July 2, 2014. | Jim Karczewski/Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2014 2:14AM
The Normal CornBelters are the top offensive team in the Frontier League and they showed why Wednesday night in one painfully long inning for the Windy City ThunderBolts.
Normal came through with nine straight singles against Windy City ace Travis Tingle on its way to a nine-run third inning and rolled to a 10-2 win in the opener of a doubleheader at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
The T-Bolts (15-24) led the nightcap 1-0 after 1½ innings when the game was called because of rain. It will be resumed at 4 p.m. Thursday, when Windy City will attempt to host its third doubleheader in five days.
Windy City was looking to avoid being swept in a twin-bill for the first time since Aug. 7, 2007. They had played 26 doubleheaders since then, sweeping nine and splitting 17.
The T-Bolts came into the week knowing this series carried great importance. Windy City will embark on a 12-game road trip after Thursday’s play. With the All-Star break in the middle of the trip, they won’t play at home after this series until July 21.
“We’ve got to get rolling,” Windy City’s Jon Mestas said. “We got a win Sunday and we want to get a few more before we go on the road. We’re just looking to build some momentum.”
With Tingle on the mound, the T-Bolts seemed to have a good shot at winning back-to-back games for the first time since May 27. Normal (21-17) put those plans to rest quickly, however.
After Tingle (4-2) got Ozney Guillen — son of Ozzie — to pop out to start the third inning, the nightmare began for Tingle as the next nine hitters singled, all but one on a grounder through a hole in the infield.
Tingle, who had been victorious in his prior three starts, was pulled after just 21/3 innings. He allowed nine earned runs on 10 hits and saw his ERA balloon from 2.55 to 4.23.
Davidson Peguero drove in both runs for Windy City. He came through with a two-out double down the right-field line to score Mestas (walk) in the fourth and produced an RBI groundout, scoring pinch-runner Ty Stetson, in the sixth.
In the nightcap, Windy City gave Josh Spence an early lead as Evan Button led off the bottom of the first with a single, moved to second on Mike Torres’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Mestas’ single.
Spence, a former major leaguer with the San Diego Padres who was making his third start with Windy City and first at home, pitched around two hits and a walk in the first two innings.