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Joliet slammers named frontier league east division champs

9/2/2016, 8:44 a.m.
The Joliet Slammers were named 2016 Frontier League East Division Champions Wednesday, this week following a 5-2 win over Lake ...

The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy were named 2016 Frontier League East Division Champions Wednesday, August 31 following a 5-2 win over Lake Erie and a 2-0 loss for the Washington Wild Things.

The Slammers will play games one and two of the playoffs on the road against the Evansville Otters, and return home on Friday, September 9 at 7:05 pm for game three.

If necessary, game four will be played Saturday, September 10 at 6:05 pm at Silver Cross Field, and game five will be played Sunday, September 11 at 1:05 pm also at home.

Playoff tickets are priced as normal and can be reserved by calling the Box Office at (815) 722-2287 or online at jolietslammers.com.

The Frontier League also named its 2016 post-season award winners Thursday. Manager Jeff Isom was awarded the Roger Hanners Award for Manager of the Year, Liam O’Sullivan the Brian Tollberg Award for Pitcher of the Year, and Andrew Gates of ATI Physical Therapy Trainer of the Year.

Isom has led the Slammers to a 50-42 record so far, good enough to take home the Eastern Division crown. The division title marks the first playoff appearance for the Slammers since 2011, when they took home the championship. Isom previously was voted Manager of the year in 2002 when he led the Washington Wild Things.

Isom has now coached or managed 16 seasons in the minor leagues and nine in the Frontier League. He has taken his teams to the playoffs six times and is one of only six managers in Frontier League history that have over 400 career wins.

O’Sullivan, in his second season in the league, has been dominant this season. Considered by many to be the ace of the best rotation in the league, O’Sullivan dominated hitters for most of the 2016 season, going 11-1 with a miniscule 3.32 ERA in 20 starts. O’Sullivan, 25, pitched in the league for the Frontier Greys organization in 2015 where he went 0-3 in 6 games with a 7.42 ERA. The 6-3 right-hander played baseball collegiately at Saint Leo University and is from South Grafton, Massachusetts. O’Sullivan is currently in first place in the league for win totals and is in first place in the league for leader in strikeouts with 109.

ATI Phsyical Therapy athletic trainer Andrew Gates is in his fifth season with the Slammers. Gates graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL with a Bachelors of Arts in Athletic Training and a minor in psychology. Prior to joining the Slammers, Gates served as the Athletic Trainer for Loyola University’s Track & Field Team where he provided year-round care as well as injury prevention strategies. Gates also served in the same capacity for Loyola’s Men’s and Women’s Rugby Teams as well as the Men’s Hockey Team. In the summer of 2010 Gates interned with the Gary South Shore RailCats of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, where he assisted in rehabilitation and prevention of injuries both on and off the field.