O'FALLON, Mo. -- The River City Rascals were once again denied their first series sweep of the season, as the Windy City ThunderBolts salvaged a game in the finale with an 8-3 victory. Tanner Gardner homered twice and drove in five runs for the Bolts in the win.
Gardner put the Bolts on the board with a three-run shot in the first, before Braxton Martinez delivered an RBI double for the Rascals in the bottom of the frame. However, the Bolts responded with three consecutive home runs to lead-off the second, with Christian Funk, Michael Mateja and Brynn Martinez all leaving the yard. Gardner added a two-run blast in the fourth to make it 8-1 Bolts.
Windy City didn't record a hit over the final four innings of the game, leaving the door ajar for the Rascals. Trevor Achenbach hit a solo homer in the sixth, while Nolan Meadows added a two-out RBI double in the eighth, but the Rascals left the bases loaded to end both frames. Blake Hickman earned his first save of the season, striking out three of the four hitters he faced to close out the game.
Tyler Thornton (5-2) earned the win for the Bolts, allowing two runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Rascals starter Travis McQueen (3-2) took the loss, allowing eight runs, seven earned, over six innings with five strikeouts.
The Rascals (42-34) host the Frontier League West Division leading Florence Freedom for a three-game set beginning tomorrow night, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. CDT from CarShield Field. Brendan Feldmann is expected to take the mound in the series opener.