Baseball: Slammers turn back Schaumburg Boomers
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media June 28, 2013 10:50PM
Updated: June 29, 2013 8:59PM
The Joliet Slammers’ offense that was far from explosive in a doubleheader loss Thursday at Rockford had some pop during Friday night’s fireworks game at Silver Cross Field.
The Slammers scored three times in the first inning and benefited from a strong performance from starter Evan Anundsen to earn a 7-4 victory in the opener of a three-game series against the Schaumburg Boomers.
Anundsen (4-4) chalked up 10 strikeouts, one shy of tying the team record, in his 61/3 innings against the second-place team in the Frontier League West Division.
“My off-speed stuff was working pretty well,’’ Anundsen said. “I was throwing them for strikes and getting a lot of swings and misses.’’
Anundsen’s previous victory was June 9, a 13-5 win over Schaumburg.
“Honestly, I just kind of started relaxing,’’ the 25-year-old Colorado native said of rebounding from a couple of shaky starts. “I’ve been really frustrated with velocity issues, all that other kind of stuff, my arm not feeling the greatest.’’
Friday, Anundsen struck out five of seven batters from the end of the first through the third innings.
“That’s the crazy thing about pitching,’’ he said. “It’s amazing how it goes from inning to inning, how things change. One inning I’ll be great and the next inning terrible. It’s one of those deals where finally, it’s just relaxing.’’
Jerod Yakubik broke out of a 1-for-15 stretch with his first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the fourth.
“I was going up there looking fastball first pitch, got it, wanted to do something with it,’’ said Yakubik, the 2011 Pioneer League batting champion. “I was able to get enough of it.’’
Nick Akins (3-for-5, 2 runs) had four of the Slammers’ previous five home runs going into Friday’s game. He hit a grand slam in the 7-3 win June 23 over Gateway, followed by two homers Tuesday and one Thursday against Rockford.
The Slammers (15-22) took advantage of three walks and two Schaumburg errors Friday to go ahead 3-0 in the first.
Marquis Riley (2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI) led off with an infield single and went to second on a groundout. No. 3 hitter Yakubik drew a walk and Riley scored on an infield error.
Kyle Maunus walked and Yakubik scored when Michael Wing reached on another infield error to load the bases again. The third run scored when Ben Hewett drew a two-out walk.
Justin Erasmus pitched the final 11/3 innings for his seventh save.
The quickly changing weather before the game had to be aggravating for the grounds crew. The workers put the tarp on the infield when it started raining about a half-hour before the game, but they were back on the field a few minutes later when the sun came out.
The Slammers’ Brett Zawacki (2-3, 4.42 ERA) will be on the mound for the second game of the series at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.