Baseball: Slammers-Normal CornBelters game rained out
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media June 19, 2014 9:22PM
Updated: July 21, 2014 4:03PM
Expecting rain to move into the area, the Joliet Slammers grounds crew put the tarp on the infield Thursday when the Normal CornBelters finished batting practice.
The tarp didn’t come off.
After more than an hour wait to see if the showers would clear out, the Slammers postponed the series finale at Silver Cross Field.
The game is expected to be made up as part of a doubleheader when the Slammers start a three-game series against the CornBelters July 8 in Normal.
“This was the last game we play them at home,’’ Joliet manager Jeff Isom said. “We play down there, so we’re going to lose a home game. You’ve got quite an advantage when you play at home, so that stinks.’’
Joliet is 11-6 at home, 2-10 on the road.
The Slammers (13-16) are a game ahead of last year’s squad. Third baseman Grant DeBruin has played on both teams and believes the 2014 Slammers are more resilient.
“I would say so,’’ DeBruin said. “We’re never really out of a game. Our lineup one through nine, there’s not any for-sure outs. Anybody can get a hit at any time. Guys are going to pick up the person in front of them.’’
Russell Moldenhauer (.333 average), DeBruin (.327), Marquis Riley (.325) and Adam Giacalone (.304) are the only players to start all 29 games.
“We feel like we can come back and be in a game no matter what the score is,’’ said Riley, another 2013 returnee.
Joliet will have to continue its climb without newcomer Chadwin Stang, who suffered a season-ending broken fibula last weekend at Washington.
The 25-year-old Canadian and former Milwaukee Brewers farmhand had made several standout plays in center field and hit .304 in seven games with the Slammers.
“That’s a big loss for us because in the short time he was here, he was tracking some balls down. It was impressive,’’ Isom said. “He was just starting to hit.’’
Joliet signed outfielders Christopher Epps and Seth Granger to replace Stang and Corey Keller, the latter of whom retired. Epps has played in the Houston Astros system and Granger was on the Lake Erie Crushers last season.
Next for Joliet are road series against Rockford and River City. The Slammers will be back at Silver Cross Field on June 27 to open a three-game series against the Gateway Grizzlies.
Gateway bench coach Mike Breyman was fired last year by the Slammers after his only season as manager ended with a 38-57 record.