Baseball: Former Slammer Marquis Riley enjoys being in playoff chase with Southern Illinois Miners
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 11, 2014 9:58PM
Updated: September 13, 2014 6:23AM
Getting traded this season for the first time in his pro career didn’t get to Marquis Riley, a Frontier League All-Star in 2013 with the Joliet Slammers.
“I wasn’t really upset about it, especially when I found out I was coming here,’’ he said.
Riley, a .300 hitter whom the Slammers traded last month to the Southern Illinois Miners, was back at Silver Cross Field over the weekend for the first time since he changed teams.
“I enjoyed my time here,’’ Riley said of his 11/2 years with the Slammers. “I had a great time and loved playing here. A change of scenery is good sometimes.’’
Riley has hit .313 with the Miners since he was traded July 10 for pitchers David Kubiak and Matt Crim. Southern Illinois was 45-29 in the East Division going into Monday’s games, the fourth-best record in the league. Barring a collapse, the Miners should make the six-team playoffs.
“That’s a good thing, where you go from not being a contender to right there in the playoff race,’’ Riley said. “That’s fun to jump into and get to compete. You have something to play for.’’
Riley is recovering from a minor back injury he suffered in an outfield collision and didn’t play in the first two games of the series against Joliet.
By the numbers
Joliet manager Jeff Isom is hoping Russell Moldenhauer’s two-run homer in Sunday’s 8-3 win was a sign of more power to come. Moldenhauer’s 52 RBI lead the Slammers.
“That was good, get him hot,’’ Isom said. “He got hot early on this season. What I remember from last year when I had him (at Lake Erie), he was hot early and kind of cooled off a little bit. Got his base hits and got hot late. Hopefully, we get him hot here at the end.’’
Grant DeBruin’s .359 batting average is second in the league. … Adrian English has been one of Joliet’s hottest hitters lately. The second baseman batted .389 (7-for-18) in his last six games to raise his average to .340.
Like old times
Isom will see some familiar faces this week. Joliet has Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday home games against the Lake Erie Crushers, the team Isom guided to the 2013 league championship series in his lone season there.
Two Slammers regulars, Moldenhauer and shortstop Max Casper, played last season for Lake Erie. Moldenhauer was a 2013 postseason All-Star.