Grant DeBruin, of the Slammers, connects for a three run home run against the ThunderBolts at Standard Bank Stadium, Sunday, August 24th, 2014, in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
The brooms had been in the closet for a long time for the Joliet Slammers, but they broke them out on Sunday night in Crestwood.
Joliet swept a doubleheader with the Windy City ThunderBolts at Standard Bank Stadium, winning 3-1 and 5-0 to complete its first three-game series sweep since early June.
Matt Costello and Andrew Busby each tossed gems to lead the way as Joliet (34-53) picked up its first sweep since June 6 to 8 against River City.
“It feels great to come in here and do this late in the season,” Busby said. “It’s been a tough year, but we want to finish strong.”
Windy City (31-56), which was swept in a doubleheader for the first time since August of 2007 – a span of 28 doubleheaders - continued to scuffle without leading hitter Kyle Robinson.
Robinson, who leads the Frontier League with a .366 batting average, is likely out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The T-Bolts have scored four runs in four games without him.
Costello, who spent all of the 2011 season and part of 2012 with Windy City, got the day started right for the Slammers, allowing one run on four hits over six innings in Game 1. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.
The T-Bolts got to him in the first, Andrew Brauer and Ryan Soares singling and Max White producing a sacrifice fly, but Costello (2-1) was dominant the rest of the way.
“This was the second start in a row I didn’t have my best stuff,” Costello said. “I just wanted to pound the strike zone and mix up my pitches. It’s nice to come back here and have the last start of my career here be a good one.”
David Kubiak worked a perfect seventh for his fifth save.
Joliet took the lead in the second. Seth Granger doubled with one out and moved to third on Josh Scheffert’s base hit. Max Casper then laid down a squeeze bunt that was fielded by T-Bolts pitcher Eli Anderson. Anderson had time to get Granger at the plate, but threw wildly, allowing the run to score and Scheffert to move to third. Scheffert scored on Adam Lewis’ sacrifice fly.
Adrian English hit his second home run of the season in the sixth to give the Slammers insurance.
Anderson (1-8) allowed two earned runs – three total — on seven hits over six innings.
In the finale, Busby (3-6) tossed five shutout innings, allowing four hits.
Joliet scored twice on a Casper double in the second and Grant DeBruin had the biggest blow in the fifth, a three-run homer.
“(T-Bolts starter Jake Fisher) hadn’t thrown me a lot of offspeed stuff, so I guessed fastball and got it,” DeBruin said.
Soares and Davidson Peguero were the only Windy City hitters with multiple hits in the twin bill, each going 2-for-6.
“The guys who are in the lineup need to produce,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “They’re all professionals. This is their opportunity to do some things and some of them are watching their careers slip away from them, because their numbers are their resumes.”