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Baseball: ThunderBolts put down Slammers 8-2

Ryan Soares ThunderBolts drives run shallow shot inoutfield against Slammers Standard Bank Stadium Friday July 25th 2014 Crestwood. | Gary

Ryan Soares, of the ThunderBolts, drives in a run on a shallow shot into the outfield against the Slammers at Standard Bank Stadium, Friday, July 25th, 2014, in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 26, 2014 3:16PM



The margin is slim but, at least for a day, the Windy City ThunderBolts are out of the cellar in the Frontier League’s West Division.

The T-Bolts topped the Joliet Slammers for the fourth time in five meetings over the past eight days, moving ahead of Joliet in the standings with an 8-2 win in front of a crowd of 2,005 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.

“We have confidence as a team,” Windy City’s Ryan Soares said. “We’re just out here battling from the first pitch to the last out. Our goal for the second half was to string some wins together and hopefully, catch fire.”

Soares led the way, going 5-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI.

“It was a pretty special night,” he said.

It was the third straight win for the T-Bolts (22-36), their longest winning streak since going 5-0 at the outset of the season.

After Joliet’s Russell Moldenhauer blasted his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot off T-Bolts starter Travis Tingle, to tie the game at 2 in the sixth, Windy City answered in the bottom of the inning.

Soares started the inning with his second double down the left-field line in as many at-bats. After Garrett Carey was hit by a pitch, the T-Bolts had runners at the corners with two outs and the No. 9 hitter in the order, Mike McGuckin, coming up against Joliet starting pitcher Matt Crim.

McGuckin came into the night hitting just .164, but he came through with a huge two-strike two-run double to the gap in left-center.

“I was swinging at some terrible pitches before that,” McGuckin said. “I wanted to protect and I swung at another bad pitch but I got lucky and it dropped in. It was a pretty good feeling.”

Soares continued his hot hitting in the seventh. After Kyle Robinson (3-for-4) walked and Ryan McIntyre was hit by a pitch, Soares went the opposite way to bloop a two-run double down the right-field line and give Windy City a 6-2 lead.

Robinson and Soares added RBI singles in the eighth as Soares’ single was his fifth hit of the night.

Jessie Snodgrass worked the final 21/3 innings without allowing a hit to pick up his third save.

Soares singled home Robinson (double) in the first, then doubled and scored on Max White’s single in the fourth.

The Slammers (22-37) had eight hits against Tingle in 62/3 innings. Tingle (6-3) allowed the leadoff man to reach in each of the first four innings, but managed to escape without allowing a run each time.

“We were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position,” Joliet manager Jeff Isom said. “That’s almost half our outs. There’s the ballgame right there.

“These guys have our number right now. We’ve got to find a way to get some big hits.”

Crim (0-1) allowed four earned runs on nine hits over 52/3 innings, striking out seven and walking none.



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