CRESTWOOD, IL – Johnny Eierman hit a two-out two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the ThunderBolts a 6-5 win over the Joliet Slammers at Standard Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Bolts (12-3) held a 3-0 lead early as they jumped on Joliet (7-9) starter Luke Crumley in the first inning. Blair Beck picked up an RBI single to start the scoring and the bases were loaded with two outs on a hit batter and a walk. Taylor Smart hit a groundball that was bobbled by Melvin Rodriguez and the ThunderBolts scored two runs on the error.
The Slammers clawed back with a run in the third. Casey Fletcher walked and scored on a Charlie White single. They tied the score the following inning on a two-run homer for Marc Flores.
Windy City reclaimed the lead almost immediately, loading the bases in the bottom of the fourth on two singles and a walk. Ransom LaLonde was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run.
The ThunderBolts led 4-3 into the ninth, when Joliet rallied back. Flores doubled, Jake Gronsky singled and Fletcher walked to load the bases. A Melvin Rodriguez walk tied the score and a Joe Staley groundout gave the Slammers their first lead.
Down to their final out in the bottom of the inning, the Bolts got a single from LaLonde to keep the inning going. Eierman followed and jumped on the first pitch he saw, taking it over the left field wall to win the game.
Cameron Giannini (1-0) blew the save but picked up the win. Kevin Simmons (0-1) took the loss for the Slammers, allowing two runs in 1.2 innings.
After sweeping the Slammers, the ThunderBolts take Monday off before continuing their home stand against the Southern Illinois Miners on Tuesday. A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank will be giving away a Travel Salad Bowl at the 7:05 start. It is also $2 Ticket Tuesday at Standard Bank Stadium. Chris Chigas (1-1, 6.23) will start for Windy City against the Miners’ Rick Teasley (1-0, 1.42). The broadcast can be heard at wcthunderbolts.com.