When the Wild Things stepped on the field against the Windy City ThunderBolts, they were riding a four-game winning streak. They left the field with a five-game winning streak behind another solid pitching performance.
Shawn Blackwell, who was acquired earlier this season from the Spokane Indians, has struggled early on in the season but he seemed to put all of that behind him tonight when he stepped onto the rubber. After giving up a combined nine runs in his first two games, Blackwell pitched 6.0 strong innings, only allowing a single run in the second inning on a solo home run by Chad Cregar.
Blackwell recorded two quick outs after the home run but then hit a batter, gave up a single, and hit another batter to load the bases. Luckily for him and the Wild Things, he forced a groundout to get out of the inning. He was nearly flawless the rest of the game. He gave up four hits, three walks, and struck out seven during his 6.0 innings of work.
Offensively, third baseman Shain Stoner led the way. Early in the third inning after second baseman CJ Beatty reached first base after a dropped third strike, Stoner made ThunderBolts pitcher Travis Strong pay by knocking one over the wall to take a 2-1 lead.
The Wild Things never looked back from there.
Center fielder Darian Stanford led off the fifth inning with a single which led to the Wild Things scoring three runs off of four hits. Jim Vahalik added a solo home run in the 6th and Mark Samuelson hit a sac fly to left field to add the seventh and final nail in the coffin.
Matt Phillips came in for a near perfect 7th inning of relief, not giving up a single hit and only walking one batter before handing the ball over to William Scott in the 8th, who only gave up one hit. Orlando Santos finished the game out successfully for the Wild Things.
Beatty finished with three hits, including two doubles, in five at-bats, driving in one run. Stoner finished the day going two-for-five with a two-run homer and three total RBI’s. Stanford also added two hits on the evening.
Strong lasted 5.0 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, but striking out twelve in the process. The ThunderBolts lone run came off the Cregar home run.
The Wild Things have two more games against the ThunderBolts on Saturday and Sunday, playing at 7:05 Saturday and 6:05 on Sunday. Times are eastern standard time.
Washington hasn’t named a starter for tomorrow night’s game yet according to the Frontier League’s website, but Gary Lee will be on the mound Sunday night.
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