Blue Thunder triumphs in victory over Blazers


A seven-run outburst in the first inning set the tone of the game as the Johnny Mac Blue Thunder defeated the Jefferson Coun-ty Blazers 13-3 Sunday afternoon.

The win for the Blue Thunder (13-16, 6-6 SLABA Junior Varsity) marked its sixth win in nine games against the Blazers this season.

Blue Thunder starting pitcher Josh Welch threw a complete game of five innings, giving up three runs on two hits.

Welch also walked three batters and hit two, while striking out four.

“He (Welch) has had two outstanding pitching performances between today and the beginning of the season,” Blue Thun-der head coach Jim Muskopf told the Call. “He’s worked hard on his location these last couple of days and it worked very well for him.”

Johnny Mac left fielder Nick McKenzie had a strong afternoon at the plate with a 2-2 performance with four runs batted in. McKenzie’s day included a triple along with an inside-the-park home run in the third inning.

“Nick’s a very good hitter,” Muskopf explained. “He’s a versatile player that we just haven’t found an exact home for him position wise. He definitely was our hitting star of the game.”

Up next for the Blue Thunder is a meeting at 5:45 p.m. today — July 14 — with the St. Louis Tigers at Vianney High School.

The two teams have met three times this season with the Blue Thunder winning two.

Muskopf expects to start Dan Fitzgerald on the mound against the Tigers. Fitzger-ald is 2-3 overall with a 6.09 earned run average.

“When he’s on, he’s very tough to hit,” Muskopf said. “His last two games (this season) have been complete ballgames.”