Thunderbolts and ThunderBolts did in the Normal CornBelters on Thursday night, as Windy City captured a weather-shortened 6-1 win in six innings on Thursday night at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood, Illinois. The loss was the third consecutive defeat for Normal, which has also dropped four of the last five games. Windy City's leadoff man reached base and scored in five of the six innings.
The ThunderBolts struck first in the their first time up for the second straight night, as CornBelters starter Bobby Pritchett walked leadoff man Brandon Anderson. Another walk and a single loaded the bases, and Anderson scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Devin Shepherd to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Windy City added another run in the second. Chad Cregar led off with a base hit and moved to third on a single and a fielder's choice, then scored on a base hit to left by Mike Torres to increase the lead to 2-0.
A pair of ThunderBolts scored in the third inning. Devin Shepherd led off with a single and stole second, and with one out, Ryan Basham walked.. Both scored when Larry Pempek's single to center was misplayed to build the lead to 4-0.
For the fourth straight inning, Windy City's leadoff man reached base and scored when Brandon Anderson reached via error, was sacrificed to second and scored on two wild pitches to put the Bolts up 5-0.
The CornBelters finally answered in the fifth with leadoff walks to Jeff Dunbar and Tyler Keeble followed by a single by Colin Moro to load the bases with nobody out, but only one run would score. Mike Mobbs walked to score Dunbar, but a ground-out and two pop-ups stranded the bases loaded and kept the CornBelters behind 5-1.
In the Windy City sixth, Larry Pempek led off with a triple and scored one batter later on a base hit by Nick Kuroczko to give the Bolts a 6-1 lead. Umpires suspended play at the end of the sixth inning, minutes before a thundershower arrived and power was lost to Standard Bank Stadium. The game was called less than an hour later as the rain was passing out of the area, but power remained out at the park, and Frontier League rules list light failure as a reason to end the game rather than suspend the contest.
The starters went the entire six innings and took the decisions, as Windy City's Bryant Cotton captured the win to improve to 3-2 and Normal's Bobby Pritchett suffered the loss to fall to 4-2.
The series concludes on Friday night as right-handers are scheduled to start on the mound, Brett Lester for the CornBelters (4-1, 3.09) and Dustin Williams for the ThunderBolts (5-2, 3.21). First pitch in southern Cook County is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.