Aviators outlast ThunderBolts in slugfest to avoid sweep

Staff Report

The Rockford Aviators won one of the wildest games in franchise history Thursday night, downing the Windy City ThunderBolts on a walkoff home run by Michael Hur in the bottom of the 10th.

The win was the 36th of the year for the Aviators and prevented a sweep by the ThunderBolts.

Tony Rizzotti started the game for the Aviators, giving up a leadoff home run to Coco Johnson and another tally in the first that put the Bolts up early.

The Aviators would erase the deficit when Elijah Trail and Tyler Smith picked up RBIs on a double and a single respectively in the second that made it 3-2.

The Bolts got one in the third and another in the fourth to steal back the advantage, but Devon Rodriguez took care of that for the Aviators with a grand slam in the fourth that made it 7-4.

The Aviators would add three more in the fifth to make it a six-run lead.

Unfortunately the Bolts once again came back, scoring six unanswered against Rizzotti and a string of relievers to force extra innings.

They assumed their first lead since the top of the fourth on a home run by Austin Gallagher off Patrick Dolan in the top of the 10th.

Collin Shaw drew a walk to start the bottom of the 10th and was on first for Hur, who lifted a two-strike offering from closer Joel Lima over the left center field wall to give the Aviators a spectacular 12-11 win.

The home run was the seventh of the year for Hur and the first walkoff homer of the season for the Aviators.

The Aviators now welcome the CornBelters to town for a crucial three-game series.

First pitch for game one tonight will be thrown in Loves Park at 7:05 p.m. with Kyle Brueggemann expected to start for the Aviators.

Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling 815-885-2255 or by emailing tickets@rockfordaviators.com.

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