Baseball: Washington Wild Things steamroll ThunderBolts 10-2
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 13, 2014 10:38PM
Mike Torres, of the ThunderBolts, drives in a run against Washington at Standard Bank Stadium, Wednesday, August 13th, 2014, in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 15, 2014 5:32PM
For the first time since 2006, the Windy City ThunderBolts will finish with a losing record.
The Washington Wild Things defeated the T-Bolts for the second straight night Wednesday, rolling to a 10-2 victory at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
The loss dropped Windy City to 27-49 with 20 games to go. Since finishing 41-54 in 2006, the T-Bolts had finished over .500 every season except 2011, when they went 48-48.
Wednesday night’s pitching matchup was a premier one with 2013 Frontier League Pitcher of the Year Scott Dunn going for Washington (48-29) against Windy City’s Daniel Cropper, who has been one of the league’s top pitchers the second half of this season.
Dunn did his part, but the Wild Things got to Cropper, who was also hurt by some bad luck and fielding mistakes.
Washington struck in the first inning for the second straight night. Three of the first four batters of the night singled, with a run scoring on Carter Bell’s base hit. Maxx Garrett then sent what looked to be a double-play ball up the middle, but the ball hit base umpire Steve Dunahue — who was slow to get out of the way — resulting in a base hit. Washington went on to add another run for a 2-0 lead.
The Wild Things added three runs in the third on two hits, a walk and a costly Garrett Carey error.
Windy City caught a break in the bottom of the third when Washington center fielder Scott Kalamar lost a Mike Torres fly ball in the lights, resulting in a two-out RBI single.
The T-Bolts returned the favor in the following inning, however, when Kyle Robinson misplayed Kalamar’s liner to left. Kalamar ended up with a triple and went on to score to make it 6-1.
Cropper (6-7), who entered the night with a 1.64 ERA in six starts since July 3, was roughed up for 10 hits in five innings, allowing six runs — five earned — despite recording a career-high eight strikeouts.
Washington added a run off Eli Anderson in the sixth.
Windy City got a run in the seventh. After Max White (2-for-3) singled, Tony Viger — a rookie third baseman playing in his first game with the T-Bolts after spending time with the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association — came up with his first hit with the team. White then scored on a Carey sacrifice fly.
That was all the hosts could manage against Dunn (7-3), who allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one. He struck out Robinson, the Frontier League’s leading hitter, all three times he faced him.
Washington turned it into a laugher with three more runs off Anderson in the eighth. The Wild Things finished with 17 hits.