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Close but no cigar for the Slammers Thursday night

7/3/2015, 9:16 a.m.
The Traverse City Beach Bums hung on to their lead, winning both the game and the series.
Nate Roberts

The Joliet Slammers provided this account of Thursday's game:

The Joliet Slammers (18-24) scored four runs in the ninth inning against the Traverse City Beach Bums (28-12) on Thursday, but they needed five to tie the game in the 6-5 loss.

Traverse City wasted no time getting on the scoreboard against starter Kevin Walter. CF Jay Austin led off the game with a single and stole second. Austin inadvertently kicked the ball into center sliding into second on the play, ultimately reaching third. Moments later a Walter pitch in the dirt got past catcher John Cannon, allowing Austin to scamper home for the first run of the game.

After the Slammers stranded a pair in the fifth against Beach Bums ace Kramer Champlin, Traverse City scored a run in the sixth. SS Sam Bumpers led off with an infield single before the lineup turned over. Austin drove him in with a double to right-center, putting Traverse City up 2-0. The Beach Bums would later load the bases before RF Brando Jacobs hit a sharp ground ball that was misplayed by SS Alfredo Rodriguez, allowing Austin to score. The Slammers would get out of the inning with a double play, trailing 3-0 after the top half of the fifth.

In the Slammers half of the seventh LF Phil Bates and SS Alfredo Rodriguez walked to lead off the inning. 1B Adam Giacalone singled but Bates got caught in a rundown and eventually was tagged out between third and home. This set up runners on the corners for C John Cannon. Cannon reached on a fielder’s choice. Rodriguez scored on the play to get Joliet on the board, 3-1 Traverse City.

The Beach Bums would break it wide open in their half of the eighth. After a 3B Jose Vargas double and an intentional walk to LF Brandon Jacobs, DH Reggie Lawson cranked a three run shot over the left field wall to put the visitors up by five.

Joliet rallied in the ninth to make things interesting. With two outs, Alfredo Rodriguez homered for the second time this year to make it 6-2. Adam Giacalone and C John Cannon singled to put two on for Russell Moldenhauer who shot one to the shortstop Sam Bumpers. The ball was thrown away and a run scored to make it 6-3. CF Charlie White followed with a walk to load the bases. 1B Nate Roberts placed a ball in to right field that scored two more to put runners at the corners and the score 6-5. 3B Mike Garza would fly out to center for the third out. The Slammers batted three-for-ten with runners in scoring position in the game.

Our Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the game was Phil Bates. He went two for three with a walk. Kramer Champlin got the win (5-2¬¬¬) Kevin Walter took the loss (1-3) and Chuck Ghysels recorded the save (2). The Slammers are back in action tomorrow when they open up a weekend road series with the Washington Wild Things, first pitch is set for 6:05pmCT. You can follow along on jolietslammers.com/gameday/slammervision/.