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Slammers walk in the winning run in Thursday game

5/22/2015, 12:09 p.m.
The game against the Lake Erie Crushers was up and down score-wise until the very end; tonight, the Joliet team ...
Fans pose for a photo at Thursday night's victorious game over the Lake Erie Crushers. Courtesy of Joliet Slammers

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

A fitting end to wild game in Joliet as the Slammers (2-4) win on a walk-off sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Hunter Ridge in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim their first series win of the season against the Lake Erie Crushers (2-4).

The Slammers jumped out to an early lead against lefty Brad Zambron. After going hitless in the Slammers win on Wednesday, Nate Roberts drilled a 3-1 pitch over the right-field fence for a solo home run to give Joliet the early 1-0 lead. The Crusher responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs off pitcher Aaron Vaughn. 3B Anderson Hidalgo led off with a single and two batters later, C Ty Nelson cracked a two-run homer to right putting the Crushers up 2-1.

Joliet took the lead right back in the third inning with the help of some two-out magic. With two down, CF Charlie White singled. He stole second, and was driven in by a Roberts single. Then 1B Chris Serritella homered, scoring Roberts and extending the Slammers lead to 4-2 after three innings.

The Slammers kept the power surge going in the fourth inning. DH Russell Moldenhauer homered to lead off the inning, putting Joliet up 5-2. The Slammers added on to the lead with a run in the fifth. Roberts reached second as RF Justin Cuerton misplayed a fly ball on the warning track. He would later come around to score on a wild pitch, pushing the Slammers lead to 6-2.

With Vaughn out of the game, the Crushers took advantage of the Slammers bullpen. With two outs, Cuerton hit a solo home run in the sixth inning off Sam Moore to trim the Slammers lead to 6-3. SS Trevor Stevens led off the seventh with a single, and with lefty James Woods in for Joliet, 1B Joey Burney walked. New pitcher Jordan Wellander then walked 3B Anderson Hidalgo to load the bases and a wild pitch with Nelson up allowed Stevens to score, cutting the Slammers lead to 6-4. Nelson would walk to reload the bases before Wellander plunked 2B Frank Desico, scoring Lake Erie’s fifth run. Cuerton followed with a two-run single to put the Crushers up 7-6.

The Slammers evened things up in the eighth against pitcher Mike Devine on the second homer of the night from Roberts before winning the game in a wild ninth inning. SS Alfredo Rodriguez led off the frame with his first hit of the evening, advancing to second on an error. LF Phil Bates struck out trying to move over Rodriguez with a bunt, and with pitcher Trevor Longfellow in, Hunter Ridge stepped in as a pinch hitter. The 1-0 pitch got past the catcher allowing Rodriguez to move to third, and Ridge lifted the 2-1 pitch to shallow center field. Rodriguez tagged up and scored as the catcher Nelson failed to field the throw cleanly, giving the Slammers the win. Kevin McNorton (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Joliet, as the Slammers won their first series of the season

Notes: The Slammers four home runs is the most by any team in the Frontier League this season…. Brad Zambron was the first lefty to start on the mound against the Slammers this year… Chris Serritella hit his Frontier League leading third home run of the season…Russell Moldenhauer extended his hitting streak to five… The Slammers had allowed only one run after the fourth inning entering the game, they allowed five on Thursday… Roberts became the first Slammers player to have a three-hit game this year…He is the second Slammers player to notch a multi-homer game...With the victory the Slammers win their first series of the season a feat they didn’t achieve until early June in 2014…It was the first walk off win for the Slammers and the first time the won after being out hit by their opponent…The Slammers welcome in the Gateway Grizzlies on Friday with the first pitch at 7:05pm…You can watch all the action on http://www.jolietslammers.com/gameday/slammervision/.