Baseball: Grant DeBruin, Adam Giacalone top Slammers endurance test
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 25, 2014 9:26PM
Updated: August 26, 2014 2:14AM
Before he suffered an ankle injury Wednesday against Rockford, Russell Moldenhauer hadn’t missed a game this season.
But the Joliet Slammers designated hitter didn’t expect to get an “Iron Man’’ label from his teammates.
“DH’ing most consider an off day anyways,’’ he said with a smile. “I did play pretty banged up during the first few weeks, but it is what it is.’’
Moldenhauer has missed the past four games going into Tuesday’s series opener against the Florence Freedom at Silver Cross Field.
Third baseman Grant DeBruin and first baseman Adam Giacalone have played in 86 of the 87 games to share the team lead. Shortstop Max Casper is next with 85 games and Moldenhauer is fourth with 83.
DeBruin and Giacalone also are tied for the team lead in home runs with 10. Moldenhauer is third with nine homers and he leads the team in RBI with 56.
DeBruin’s .351 batting average is second in the Frontier League to Windy City’s Kyle Robinson (.366).
Joliet is hitting .256 as a team, ninth in the 14-team league. The Slammers’ 46 home runs ranks 11th.
On the mound
Rookie starting pitcher Kody McFarland came within one strikeout Friday of tying the franchise record of 12 set last season by Andrew Busby against Evansville.
McFarland, a 6-foot-7 right-hander from Sugar City, Idaho, fanned 11 in the 7-1 win over Windy City at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. He retired the first 10 hitters he faced and had a no-hitter through six innings.
With nine home games left, Joliet ranks ninth in the league in attendance, according to figures provided by the league. The Slammers have averaged just under 2,000 fans a game at 1,917.
The top four teams in attendance all average more than 3,000 fans a game: Schaumburg (3,358), Gateway (3,214), Traverse City (3,097) and Evansville (3,081). Schaumburg and Evansville likely are playoff teams.
Back in town
Aaron Morse, the Slammers’ announcer for the 2012 season and half of last year, is the director of broadcasting and media relations for the Florence Freedom in Florence, Kentucky.
He’ll be calling the play-by-play for the opposition as the Slammers host Florence in a three-game series that starts Tuesday. Morse is a Northwestern graduate and a native of Seattle.