CRESTWOOD, Ill. -- The River City Rascals couldn't hold on to a late lead, and lost the middle game of their series to the Windy City ThunderBolts on Saturday night by a score of 9-6. The Rascals left 12 men on base in the loss, and the ThunderBolts used a six-run seventh inning to earn the come-from-behind victory, evening the series at a game apiece.
The Bolts struck first, as Chase Cockrell drove in the game's first run on an RBI ground-out in the first inning. After JD Hearn led-off the second with a triple, Tanner Murphy singled him home to tie the game. The Rascals took a 3-1 lead after scoring two in the third, on an RBI double from Nolan Meadows and another RBI single from Murphy.
With one out in the top of the fifth, the game entered a 20-minute rain delay. When play resumed with a runner at third base, Hearn added to the lead with a sacrifice fly. The Bolts then fought back with a run each in the fifth and sixth, getting a solo home run from Randy Perez and scoring on a Rascals error. The Rascals got a run back in the top of the seventh, on an RBI single from Meadows.
Disaster struck for the Rascals in the seventh, as the Bolts sent ten men to the plate in the frame. Cal Aldridge and Micah Coffey each brought in a pair of runs on hits, and Tyler Alamo also added an RBI single. Another run scored on a wild pitch. The Rascals scored their final run in the eighth, on an RBI groundout from Braxton Martinez, who had three hits on the night. Colby Blueberg struck out all four hitters he faced to close out the win and earn his fourth save.
Rascals starter Travis McQueen took a no-decision, allowing two runs over five innings with a walk and four strikeouts. Reliever Tanner Cable (1-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on three hits without recording an out. Bolts starter Tyler Thornton allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings, with three walks and nine strikeouts in a no-decision. Joel Toribio (2-1) earned the win out of the Windy City bullpen.
The Rascals (28-24) and ThunderBolts (23-29) will play the rubbermatch of their series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CDT from Ozinga Field. Brendan Feldmann will take the mound for the Rascals in the finale.