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Baseball: Slammers drop 7-4 decision to Southern Illinois Miners

Southern Illinois and Joliet, who met in their series finale Monday night at Silver Cross Field, are on different paths for the rest of the Frontier League season.

The playoffs appear likely for 2012 league champ Southern Illinois while Joliet hopes to solidify its rotation and finish strong with a favorable schedule.

Southern Illinois put together a six-run fifth inning and went on to a 7-4 victory in the rubber game of the series that started one hour late.

The tarp was on the infield shortly before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. game time because rain was expected. A loud thunder clap at 7 p.m. was followed by 15 minutes of showers.

The sun came out and the grounds crew had the tarp off around 7:30. Work on and around the field was followed by the first pitch a little after 8 p.m.

The rain started again and stopped in the second inning as the teams played through it.

Joliet right-hander Travis Bradshaw pitched 32/3 scoreless innings when he was lifted because of cramps and soreness in his right index finger.

Bradshaw won his previous two starts, against Frontier and Traverse City, after a rocky first start since he was signed July 5 as a free agent.

Bradshaw spent his rookie season in 2013 with Southern Illinois. He was 3-0 in 12 starts with a 2.84 ERA, but the Miners released him during spring training.

Sam Moore replaced Bradshaw in the fourth and ran into trouble in the fifth. Two infield hits, two walks and two singles did most of the damage.

The Slammers (29-46) managed to close the gap on the Miners (46-29). Max Casper doubled to lead off the fifth and Adam Lewis followed with a base hit to cut the lead to 6-2.

Matt Weaver clubbed a two-run homer to right to make it 6-4 in the sixth.

Joliet went ahead 1-0 in the fourth on a base hit by Adam Giacalone that scored Russell Moldenhauer. He had singled and moved to second on a fielder’s choice.

Joliet threatened to score in the first when leadoff hitter Chris Epps drew a walk and Adrian English followed with a single. But Grant DeBruin hit into a double play and Moldenhauer lined out to center field.

Joliet opens a three-game home series Tuesday night against the Lake Erie Crushers with Andrew Busby (2-5, 4.48) on the mound for the Slammers.



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