Baseball: Washington Wild Things outlast ThunderBolts 7-4
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 12, 2014 10:34PM
Daniel Aldrich, of the ThunderBolts | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 14, 2014 6:34AM
The Windy City ThunderBolts came home fresh off a series win over the Gateway Grizzlies, their second series win of the season against the powerful Grizzlies.
Taking on another of the Frontier League’s top contenders Tuesday, though, the T-Bolts could not keep the streak going, falling 7-5 to the Washington Wild Things at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
Windy City (27-48) lost despite outhitting Washington (46-29) — which came into the series in a three-way tie for first in the East Division — 12-10.
“We battled and we were definitely competitive in this game, it just wasn’t enough” Windy City’s Andrew Brauer said. “This team, we’re not going to come out and lay down or roll over down the stretch. You’re going to get 100 percent from us.”
T-Bolts starting pitcher Hein Robb walked six in 32/3 innings in his team debut Thursday. He was much more effective Tuesday, but still was hurt by some control problems.
Washington got to him right away, making him pay for hitting Scott Kalamar to lead off the game. Kalamar came home on Will Beckwith’s double.
The Wild Things made it 3-0 with Carter Bell’s two-run single in the fifth that came after Beckwith was hit by a pitch with two outs.
After Windy City got a run back in the bottom of the inning, Robb walked the leadoff man in the sixth, leading to a three-run Washington surge as the visitors pulled away.
Robb departed after the walk to Maxx Garrett and Victor Larez allowed three straight hits and a run-scoring wild pitch as the Wild Things made it a 6-1 game.
Robb, a fifth-year pro who spent four years in the Minnesota Twins organization, allowed four earned runs on four hits, walking three and hitting two in falling to 0-2.
The T-Bolts scored in the fifth when Garrett Carey (2-for-4) doubled and came home on a hit by Andrew Brauer (3-for-5). Brauer appeared to make a baserunning mistake in trying to stretch his single into a hustle double, but base umpire Tony Maners said Washington second baseman Garrett Rau missed the tag and Brauer had an extra base-hit.
That was all Windy City could manage, however, against Washington starter Zac Fuesser — a soft-tossing lefty who continued to dazzle the Frontier League with an array of off-speed stuff.
Fuesser scattered seven hits in 62/3 innings, striking out five and walking none. He improved to 8-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.63.
“He had three pitches he was throwing for strikes and they had movement,” Brauer said. “Sometimes guys are effective throwing below hit speed.”
The T-Bolts threatened in the seventh. Daniel Aldrich led off with a double, but Aldrich was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Pat Kregeloh after Brauer’s two-out single.
Windy City did make things more interesting in the eighth, scoring three times after Washington’s tally in the top of the inning to pull to within 7-4.
Mike Torres singled, Kyle Robinson walked and Ryan Soares (2-for-4) provided an RBI base hit to start the inning. Robinson scored on Max White’s grounder and Ryan Tufts (2-for-4) on Aldrich’s, but Alfonso Yevoli struck out Michael Allen to end the inning.
Carey doubled and scored on Torres’ sacrifice fly in the ninth, but Jonathan Kountis held the T-Bolts there to pick up his 27th save.