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Baseball: Slammers rally past Southern Illinois Miners 3-2

Updated: June 23, 2014 12:58PM



For the second game in a row, the Joliet Slammers turned a late-inning rally into an exciting victory over the Southern Illinois Miners.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Slammers parlayed three singles, including a game-tying base hit by Adam Giacalone, before Tre-Von Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk for a 3-2 win Saturday night at Silver Cross Field.

“All the pressure was on the pitcher and he had to come to me,’’ Johnson said of getting the game-winning RBI.

Marquis Riley, the Slammers’ 2013 All-Star second baseman, led off with a base hit before Friday’s hero, designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer, stroked another single.

“No matter how many runs we get down, we feel like we can come back,’’ Riley said.

“Hitting behind Marquis and Russ is awesome for me,’’ Giacalone said. “I knew once Marquis got on, we had it going. All of a sudden, the floodgates opened.’’

Grant DeBruin was intentionally walked after Giacalone tied the game. Tyler Roberts hit into a double play and another intentional walk went to CJ Epperson before Giacalone scored the winner on the walk to Johnson.

“We have a lot of fight. We know we can hit up and down the lineup, whoever’s up is capable of getting hits,’’ Giacalone said.

Joliet was being outhit 10-5 going into the bottom of the ninth.

“Their starter (Miguel Ramirez) was outstanding. We couldn’t figure him out,’’ Joliet manager Jeff Isom said. “The ninth inning we strung some hits together. I told our guys, ‘Keep scrapping.’ ’’

Slammers starting pitcher Blair Walters (62/3 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 5 strikeouts) had relief help from Santo Manzanillo, Jake Hermsen and Jordan McCoy, the latter of whom got the win.

“The pitching staff went out there and kept everything going,’’ Giacalone said.

The White Sox selected Walters in the 11th round of the 2011 draft. He pitched last season for two teams in the Houston Astros organization.

Walters picked off two runners, one in the third inning and one in the fourth, when he struggled with his control and issued two walks.

Southern Illinois went ahead 1-0 in the fourth after Matt Howard singled to right and the ball rolled under Epperson’s glove, allowing the Southern Illinois baserunner to score from first.

Howard was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park homer.

Right-hander Matt Dillon gets the start for Joliet in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Silver Cross Field.

“We’ve already got the series win,’’ Riley said. “Hopefully, (we) come out and get the sweep.’’



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