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Baseball: Slammers defeat Frontier Greys 9-8 in 11 innings

Back in the lineup after missing eight games because of a sprained ankle, designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer stroked a two-out, RBI double in the fifth inning.

When the throw home got away from the catcher, Moldenhauer advanced to third base and got a pat on the helmet from Joliet manager Jeff Isom coaching third base.

The return of Joliet’s RBI leader was among several positives Saturday night for the Slammers, who rallied to earn a 9-8 victory in 11 innings over the Frontier Greys at Silver Cross Field.

Josh Scheffert had the game-ending hit, a ground ball up the middle that was fielded near the outfield grass while Matt Costello, pinch running for Moldenhauer, kept coming around from second base to score the winning run.

“It was good to get guys on in that last inning,’’ Scheffert said. “They set the table ahead of me. We’re trying to make a little run here, finish things off nice.’’

The Slammers (37-55) clinched the series win and have won six of their previous eight games.

David Kubiak pitched the 10th and 11th for the win with three strikeouts and one walk.

Joliet scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-all and force extra innings.

Grant DeBruin led off with an infield single and scored on Adam Giacalone’s long double to left-center. Giacalone advanced to third on a groundout by Moldenhauer (2-for-5, run, RBI) and came home on a sacrifice fly by Chris Epps.

“Luckily, I didn’t feel like I lost too much at the plate with my timing,’’ Moldenhauer said. “I was able to put together a decent night and help the ballclub win.’’

Epps’ two-run double in the eighth closed the gap to 7-6, but Frontier (29-62) added a run in the top of the ninth.

After he allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, Joliet right-hander Andrew Busby pitched a solid 51/3 innings (3 runs, 6 hits) before he was lifted for Ethan Carter.

JD Dorgan hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth inning that gave the Slammers a 4-2 lead. The rookie catcher was signed July 18 out of the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).

“I wasn’t quite sure off the bat whether it was going to go,’’ Dorgan said. “I started watching the left fielder and he was running out of room. That’s when I knew. Busby came back and put up a zero.’’

An indication that pitching is at a premium this late in the Frontier League season, neither Joliet nor Frontier had named a starting pitcher Saturday for Sunday’s 5:05 p.m. series finale.



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