The Washington Wild Things jumped out to a large first inning lead and never looked back as they defeated the Windy City Thunderbolts 12-4 on Wednesday night at CONSOL Energy Park.
Washington (34-46) recorded six runs on six hits in the first inning against Thunderbolts starter Zak Wasserman (4-5), who left after recording only one out.
Scott Kalamar, David Popkins, Jimmy Yezzo Daniel Poma and Austin Wobrock all recorded RBI in the inning allowing Wild Things starter Luke Wilkins (7-3) some breathing room.
Wilkins responded with four scoreless innings before fatigue kicked in during the sixth. Austin Gallagher and Max White hit back-to-back home runs to start the inning. Wilkins then recorded two outs before back-to-back singles ended his night.
“He got us to two outs in the sixth,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzutto. “There might have only been a couple pitches he wanted back. He battled through.”
Matt Purnell relieved Wilkins and gave up a double to bring the Thunderbolts (33-46) within 6-4.
It was the closest Windy City got, however, as Washington responded with two runs in the seventh and four runs in the eighth which was capped off with a Yezzo three-run home run just inside the left field foul pole.
“We started strong by putting six on the board, but had some more opportunities to score and couldn’t,” said Bozzutto. “We allowed them to nibble back with a couple home runs. It was nice to see us respond to that with the two and then four. That was big.”
Steve Messner and Tim Geil each pitched a scoreless inning to close things out.
Washington takes the series and will go for a three-game sweep tomorrow evening at 7:05.
(WAS) Wilkins (W, 7-3): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K’s, 2 WP, 3 HR. 104 Pitches (65 Strikes).
(WC) Wasserman (L, 4-5): 0.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB. 23 Pitches (15 Strikes).
(Photo Credit: Washington Wild Things)