Thunderbolts Start Fast, Hold Off Braves in 6-4 Win

After a forgettable Opening Day, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts were hoping to pick up a confidence-boosting win over the 0-2 FCA Braves.

They did just that, overcoming Bryan Gilliam’s wildness and scattering 14 hits to pick up a 6-4 win.

For the second consecutive game, the Thunderbolts started slow. Gilliam issued four walks in the first inning, plating Braves second baseman Ryan Morash.

The Thunderbolts quickly answered in the second, banging five singles off Braves starter Mike Smith and taking advantage of a Jimmy Losh throwing error to bat around and pull ahead 5-1.

Gilliam was wildly effective after that, walking a total of nine batters but allowing just two runs and two hits thanks to stellar defense from center fielder Jonathan Thomas and shortstop Dominic Ford.

Despite the poor second inning, Smith had a decent outing for the Braves. He left after 4.2 innings, giving up four earned runs and striking out six on 100 pitches.

Lucas Donlon scored on a walk in the sixth inning for the Thunderbolts, adding an insurance run for Brendan Collins.

Collins mowed through the Braves lineup, striking out six and allowing no hits in three innings.

The Braves added two off of Tyler Dyball in the ninth, but he settled down and got help from catcher Tyler Murray, who caught Jordan Ebersole stealing to end the game.

The Thunderbolts will head to Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda Friday evening looking to avenge Wednesday’s clunker.