Baseball: Slammers stumble 8-4 vs. Rockford Aviators
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media August 20, 2014 10:24PM
Kalaika Kahoohalahala (1) of the Rockford Aviators steals second base as Joliet Slammers second baseman Adrian English comes down after snagging a high throw. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 21, 2014 10:12PM
Held scoreless in Tuesday’s series opener against Rockford, Joliet manager Jeff Isom saw his team’s bats come alive Wednesday night.
The Slammers had 10 hits, including five doubles, and scored a run in four different innings.
But as has been the case too often this season, the offense showed up, but the pitching struggled as Joliet fell 8-4 to Rockford at Silver Cross Field.
“We put ourselves behind the eight-ball when we give up five runs early on,” Isom said. “The guys were trying to do too much at the plate (early), but we did swing the bats well late. Already in the hole by then, so we’ve got to get better starting pitching.”
Joliet (31-52) found itself down early, with the Aviators scoring two runs in each the second and third innings and another run in the fourth.
The Slammers scored a run apiece in each inning in the fourth through seventh but could never string together the big inning, stranding six runners.
“Too little too late getting ourselves into trouble early,” Joliet’s Adrian English said. “Tough to come back against some good pitching. We did get some runs, though, and hopefully, that gives us some momentum going into (Thursday).”
Russell Moldenhauer, Seth Granger, Matt Weaver and J.D. Dorgan all had RBI for the Slammers. English, Granger and Josh Scheffert all had two hits.
Both of English’s hits were doubles, the rookie raising his average to .330 in 26 games played since being signed in late July.
“I’m trying to keep it simple,” English said. “I’m trying to come out here and have fun, trying to help the team however I can win some games down the stretch.”
Moldenhauer left the game with an ankle injury he suffered in the fourth on a stolen-base attempt. Isom said his All-Star is day to day.
“He was being aggressive on the bases, which is great to see,” Isom said. “He turned his ankle, and he’s hurting, day to day, but he will be all right.”
Joliet starting pitcher Ethan Carter (1-2) was tagged for seven runs on 10 hits with a strikeout over four-plus innings.
Tanner Witt (3 RBI) and Kenny Bryant (2 RBI) led Rockford (34-49). The Aviators finished with 13 hits.
Joliet will look to avoid being swept in the series in the finale set for 7:05 p.m. Thursday