Tully Monsters win 2-1 over Deep Dish in pitcher’s duel
8/3/2020, 7:54 p.m.
The Joliet Slammers beat the Chicago Deep Dish in a pitchers' duel by a final score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Offense was rare in the exhibition, with all three runs of the game coming in the third inning.
Starting pitcher Joe Lienhard escaped multiple jams early on for the Tully Monsters, stranding four Deep Dish runners on base across his four-inning start. He allowed five hits and walked one, but allowed just one run. He struck out four and exited the game with a 2-1 lead.
Robert Milacki relieved Lienhard and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out four. Danny Zardon took over for Milacki and earned a two-inning save. Milacki was assigned the win since Lienhard was ineligible due to his short outing.
Deep Dish starter Pat McGowan pitched well despite earning the loss, allowing five hits in seven innings on the mound. He was wild at times, walking four batters total. Both of the runs the Tully Monsters scored against McGowan came in the third inning: He issued two four-pitch walks, hit right fielder Alex McKenna with a pitch to bring in a run, and allowed another run on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Riley Pittman. Aside from his shaky third inning, McGowan was effective, striking out six. Andrew Click and Tyler Johnson eached pitched a scoreless inning for the Deep Dish after McGowan exited.
The Deep Dish posted their only run of the game in the third inning as well. Catcher Erik Ostberg barreled up Lienhard's offering for an RBI double, scoring third baseman David Kyriacou. Kyriacou was 3-for-3 at the plate, and shortstop Jack Strunc was 2-for-4. Aside from Ostberg, Kyriacou and Strunc, Deep Dish batters were quiet at the dish.
The Tully Monsters pitching staff received some help from its defense—particularly in the outfield. McKenna made a diving catch in right to rob the Deep Dish of a run in the third inning, and center fielder Matthew Koehler flashed the leather with a sliding snag in the sixth inning. Catcher Zach Soria also contributed in the field, gunning out Strunc at second base in the seventh inning to erase the tying run from the basepaths.
The best defensive play of the game for the Tully Monsters, however, came in the bottom of the ninth inning. First baseman Grant Buck appeared to hit a leadoff double down the right field line for the Deep Dish, but McKenna made a tremendous throw to record the out at second base.
The Tully Monsters remain in second place in the 2020 City of Champions Cup with the win, improving to 5-2. The fourth-place Deep Dish dropped to 2-9 on the season. The Deep Dish hope to get back on track against the first-place Joliet Slammers on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., while the Tully Monsters look to carry their momentum into their matchup with the Slammers on Thursday night.
Box Score Recap:
Tully Monsters - 2 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, 7 runners left on base
Deep Dish - 1 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors, 7 runners left on base
WP - Robert Milacki (1-0)
LP - Pat McGowan (0-2)
Tonight's Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the Game is: Robert Milacki (3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 K)
About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois. They will play their 10th season in 2020. Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the office at 815-722-2287 for more information. Don't forget to "Like" the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers and Instagram at @jolietslammersofficial.