The Washington Wild Things completed a three-game sweep of the Windy City Thunderbolts with a 6-5 victory in 10 innings thanks to a walk-off walk by Matt Ford.
The game-ending free pass completed an unusual bottom of the tenth for the Wild Things as Austin Wobrock singled with one out and Maxx Garrett followed with a walk on a full count. The Thunderbolts then intentionally walked Andrew Heck to load the bases after Joel Lima (3-4) threw a wild pitch during the at bat advancing the runners to second and third.
Ford then worked his count to 3-1 before fouling off three-straight pitches prior to the final pitch of the game, a fastball inside, forcing the winning run home.
“That was anticlimactic, but we’ll take it,” said Ford.
Washington (35-46) jumped out to another first inning lead as Sam Mende hit his second home run of the series — a solo shot — and David Popkins added a RBI single to make it 2-0.
Windy City (33-47) responded, however, with five runs of their own against newly acquired starter Jon Klein, who came over in Monday’s trade with Southern Illinois for Tim Flight.
A RBI groundout by Ransom LaLonde and a RBI single by Jacob Tanis tied things at two in the third and Max White broke the tie in the fourth with a bases-clearing triple.
Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto turned to his bullpen for the remainder of the game and got solid results as Kolin Stanley, Matt Purnell and Tim Giel (4-5) threw six no-hit innings while striking out 11.
“Those guys in the bullpen have done a good job all year,” said Ford. “We were able to get our pitchers some runs early in games in this series and the relievers did their job.”
Washington responded immediately in the bottom of the fourth when Andrew Heck sent a fly ball to right field that was dropped by White allowing Danny Poma to score to make it a 5-3 game.
They then tied things in the fifth when Jimmy Yezzo knocked two in with a triple.
The Wild Things completed their second home sweep of the season and will look to add on to the winning streak Friday night as they begin a three-game series with the Gateway Grizzlies starting at 7:05.
(WAS) Klein (ND): 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K’s, 99 Pitches (56 Strikes).
(WC) Giannini (ND): 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K’s, 88 Pitches (42 Strikes).
(Photo Credit: Washington Wild Things)