Independent baseball: Slammers beat Evansville
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media May 26, 2012 4:56PM
Updated: May 26, 2012 10:53PM
After the Joliet Slammers avoided losing five in a row for the first time ever with Thursday’s victory over Traverse City, they started their first winning streak of the season Friday against Evansville.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, the Slammers rallied to get a 3-2 Frontier League victory for an appreciative crowd of 2,624 at Silver Cross Field.
“We started slow last year too,’’ catcher Ben Hewett said. “We were right around .500 for the first half. All it takes is a few wins together and we’re back to .500.’’
The Slammers (3-5) strung together an infield hit by Sean Estand, a sacrifice bunt by Hewett and a two-out, RBI single by Abel Nieves to grab a 3-2 lead in the seventh.
Hector Pellot’s solo home run to left field had tied it 2-2 in the sixth.
Estand also was a factor on defense, making two diving stops at third base--one in the second inning and the other for the second out with a runner on in the eighth.
Evansville took advantage of leadoff walks from Slammers starter Jeremy Tietze in the second and third innings to take a 2-1 lead. Tietze went five innings and was replaced by Chase Doremus.
Geoff Brown faced two batters in the eighth before yielding to Brian Smith, the University of St. Francis pitching coach. Daniel Carela got the final three outs for the second straight game.
The Slammers used four at-bats to make it 1-1 in the second. Pellot led off with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Zach Mandelblatt and a base hit by Kyle Maunus before Brad Netzel drove in Pellot with a sacrifice fly.
The second of three games with Evansville is at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
“You can talk about records and that nobody pays attention to it—we were paying attention to it,’’ manager Bart Zeller said after Thursday’s win ended a four-game losing streak. “We knew where we were.’’
The Slammers on Friday placed pitcher Jake Renshaw on the 14-day disabled list…..Steven Maxwell’s 10 strikeouts in Thursday’s 4-1 win over Traverse City tied the team record for strikeouts in a game….Getting runners on base hasn’t been a problem for the Slammers. They went into Friday’s game ranked second in the Frontier League in on-base percentage (.353).