Baseball: Season-high crowd sees Slammers sink River City
by Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media June 6, 2014 11:06PM
Updated: June 7, 2014 5:51PM
Getting no-hit in the opener of a doubleheader and losing the nightcap in 17 innings is a double dose of frustration, especially for a team trying to get back to .500.
That’s what happened to the Joliet Slammers in the final two games of their road trip before they returned early Friday for a six-game homestand.
“It was a tough series we just had,’’ Joliet manager Jeff Isom said. “Who was it? I forget. Southern Illinois. We’re sleep-deprived right now.’’
The Slammers have been win-deprived since their season-opening sweep, but they got off to a good start Friday night when Russell Moldenhauer launched a long, three-run homer in the first inning.
The 3-0 lead turned into a 4-1 win over River City for a season-high crowd of 3,359 at Silver Cross Field. Joliet (7-12) ended its three-game skid while the Rascals (13-6) lost for the first time in eight games.
Joliet starting pitcher Kody McFarland (1-1, 2.70 ERA) put together a strong outing in his second start. The 23-year-old Idaho native lasted seven innings and gave up one run on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Chase Doremus pitched the eighth and Jordan Wellander the ninth for his first save.
The Slammers went ahead 4-0 in the fourth on Max Casper’s single that scored newcomer Chad Stang (single).
Center fielder Stang and right fielder Corey Keller made their Slammers debut in Friday’s game. Stang was just released by the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A team and played for Isom in the Brewers’ system.
“He said ‘Look, I just want to play. If you can get me at-bats, then I’ll come play for you,’’’ Isom said.
Joliet had threatened to increase the 3-0 lead in the third when Garcia, Marquis Riley and Moldenhauer singled to load the bases. But Adam Giacalone hit into a home-to-first double play before Grant DeBruin struck out.
Moldenhauer has a team-best 14 RBI and his two home runs also leads the club.
Joliet’s Jose Garcia singled in his first two at-bats ever at Silver Cross Field.
The former Triple-A infielder from Venezuela played his first three games with the Slammers on the road trip after his visa issues were resolved.
Joliet released outfielders Darian Sandford and Bill Miller (Trinity Christian) on Friday a few days after they cut CJ Epperson and Tre-Von Johnson.
“We weren’t getting offensive production out of the guys,’’ Isom said. “We had to do something here. I feel like we’ve upgraded from what we had.’’