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Baseball: Rain helps Slammers reign over Florence Freedom

The 2013 Joliet Slammers finished 38-57, a one-game improvement over the 2012 team.

This year’s club is running out of time to equal last season.

The Florence Freedom rallied from a 4-0 deficit Thursday night to go ahead 6-4 in the top of the seventh, but the game was delayed because of rain with the Slammers batting in the bottom of the seventh.

Because the game was called at 11:20 p.m. and the seventh inning wasn’t completed, the score reverts back to the sixth inning and gives the Slammers a 4-1 win at Silver Cross Field.

Joliet (35-55) has six games left in the season: home series against Frontier and Gateway.

Starting pitcher Matt Crim scattered nine hits over six innings and allowed only one run with seven strikeouts.

The bullpen let the Slammers down in the seventh inning. John Maloney walked two and allowed an RBI base hit before he was lifted for Sam Moore.

Moore walked one, allowed a two-run single and hit a batter before another two-run base hit gave Florence (40-49) a 6-4 lead.

The Slammers put across three runs in the fifth inning to go ahead 4-0.

Seth Granger singled, Max Casper reached on a bunt and Adrian English put down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Grant DeBruin was intentionally walked to load the bases before Matt Weaver lofted a long two-run base hit to the right-field corner.

Adam Giacalone’s groundout scored DeBruin to give the Slammers a 4-0 lead.

Joliet went ahead 1-0 in the first inning, its first lead of the series.

English drew a one-out walk and DeBruin followed with a single. Weaver came through with a base hit, but English was thrown out at the plate by a wide margin trying to score from second.

Giacalone singled and DeBruin was held at third, but Weaver got caught in a rundown between second and third. DeBruin broke for the plate and scored when the throw home was wide.

The Slammers were without designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer (.299, team-best 56 RBI) for the seventh straight game. Moldenhauer had played every game this season until he suffered a sprained ankle Aug. 20 against Rockford.

“He’s day to day,’’ Joliet manager Jeff Isom said. “He took batting practice (Thursday) and he’s wanting to get back out there.’’

Josh Scheffert, acquired July 25 from Laredo of the American Association, DH’d for the second time in the series. He was 1-for-4 in Tuesday’s 6-1 series opening setback.

The Slammers start a three-game series Friday night against the Greys, who’ve been the worst team in the Frontier League all season.



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