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Baseball: Kody McFarland sparkles as Slammers top ThunderBolts 7-1

Kody McFarlSlammers delivers pitch against ThunderBolts Standard Bank Stadium Friday August 22nd 2014 Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

Kody McFarland, of the Slammers, delivers a pitch against the ThunderBolts at Standard Bank Stadium, Friday, August 22nd, 2014, in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 26, 2014 1:28PM



There’s certainly not the excitement of a pennant race, but there’s still something on the line in this weekend’s series between the Windy City ThunderBolts and Joliet Slammers.

The teams entered play Friday tied for sixth in the seven-team Frontier League West Division, and neither team wants to finish last.

Kody McFarland helped the Slammers strike the first blow in the series Friday night. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and held the T-Bolts to one run over 72/3 innings as Joliet claimed a 7-1 win at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.

“All my pitches were on,” McFarland said. “I was able to throw my fastball by guys, and my off-speed stuff was working, too. It was just a real nice night for me and we got the win, which is most important. It’s been a tough season, but we want to finish strong and get some more wins.”

Joliet improved to 32-53 and is a game ahead of Windy City (31-54).

Former Slammer Andrew Brauer led off the bottom of the seventh and broke up McFarland’s no-hit bid, blooping a base hit that fell between second baseman Adrian English and right fielder Christopher Epps.

“That was tough,” McFarland said. “I made a good pitch and he just placed it perfectly out there. I’ll be thinking about that one for a long time.”

McFarland (4-4) ended up allowing four hits and walking one. He struck out 11.

David Kubiak entered in a 5-1 game with two on and two outs in the eighth and got out of the inning, then struck out the side in the ninth to record his fourth save.

Adam Giacalone’s 10th home run of the season gave Joliet a 1-0 lead in the second. Both pitchers dominated for a long stretch after that.

Brian Oliver (0-1), making his first start of the season for Windy City, kept the Slammers from scoring further until the seventh, when they had five straight singles, pushing across four runs and chasing Oliver.

Max Casper had an RBI single, Chris Epps a two-run base hit and Grant DeBruin a sacrifice fly in the inning.

The T-Bolts got a run in the seventh when Max White doubled and scored on Ryan Soares’ base hit, but could get no closer. Joliet added two runs in the ninth, DeBruin providing an RBI double.

“These guys are out here battling for spots on the team next season,” Joliet manager Jeff Isom said. “We want them to show us something and we saw a lot of good things (Friday).”



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