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Slammers rally in ninth for victory

Updated: September 1, 2014 2:11AM



Seth Granger isn’t a home run hitter for the Joliet Slammers, but his blast tied the game in the ninth inning.

Adam Giacalone has 10 home runs, but his base hit was the game-winner in the ninth inning Sunday in a 5-4 victory over the Frontier Greys at Silver Cross Field.

It was the second night in a row the Slammers rallied from a ninth-inning deficit to pull out a win, their 38th victory equaling the number of games they won last season.

“I was just looking to put something in play,’’ Giacalone said of the game-winning RBI. “Adrian (English) was on second base and he can run a little bit, so I was just trying to get a single.’’

English, who had singled and moved to second when Grant DeBruin was hit by a pitch, slid to the back of the plate to beat the throw and score the winning run.

“It’s exciting. Get some of these wins like this, it keeps the juices flowing and guys want to continue to go out here and win,’’ Joliet manager Jeff Isom said.

Joliet (38-55) has won four in a row and seven of its last nine. The Slammers climbed above Rockford (37-56) into fifth place in the seven-team Frontier League West Division.

Granger was 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI, the biggest his leadoff home run to right to tie the game 4-4 in the ninth.

“I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit early in the count,’’ Granger said. “It got to 2-0, just looked one spot, one pitch and got that pitch middle in.’’

Kevin McNorton (2 innings, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts) got the win in relief. Andrew Strenge (7 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 5 strikeouts) was solid in his third start since being signed Aug. 13 as a free agent.

“He settled in. He threw the ball very well for us,’’ Isom said of Strenge. “This was a guy who was tabbed to be coming here as a short reliever. We’ve needed him to be a starter.’’

Joliet put up a run in the first and two runs in the second to tie it 3-3. Granger singled in the first and scored on a groundout by Russell Moldenhauer.

Joliet put together a two-run rally with two outs in the second. Adam Lewis drew a walk and Max Casper singled before Granger tripled into the right-field corner.

The Slammers conclude their season with games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday against the Gateway Grizzlies, who need a sweep to have a chance of making the playoffs.

“We know they’re on the bubble,’’ Giacalone said. “We’re going to try to win that series.’’

“We want to be spoilers,’’ Isom said. “And not only that, what I talked with our guys is ‘Let’s make this our playoffs.’ ’’



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