Slammers’ Barsotti throws shutout against Miners
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 17, 2013 10:06PM
Updated: September 19, 2013 10:00AM
Proof that despite their record the Joliet Slammers haven’t given up on the season came from Kyle Maunus in the series opener Friday against Southern Illinois.
The Slammers’ veteran raced down the first-base line and dove to the bag, trying to prevent a game-ending double play. Although that effort didn’t stop a 6-5 loss, it showed the Slammers aren’t going through the motions near the end of a disappointing season.
Slammers pitcher Mike Barsotti had the right approach Saturday night. In only his second start this season, the quick-working 23-year-old threw a complete-game shutout in the Slammers’ 6-0 win at Silver Cross Field.
“When I got out there in the first inning, every pitch I threw went where it needed to go,’’ Barsotti said. “It was fun. It made it easy. I was able to relax and my teammates got me runs early.’’
And late. Niko Vasquez’s three-run homer provided Barsotti with a 6-0 cushion in the seventh inning.
“The way he was pitching, any sort of lead would have been good,’’ Vasquez said.
“He threw every single pitch for strikes, in any count,’’ Slammers manager Mike Breyman said. “He’s throwing changeups on 2-2, 3-2. Any count, it didn’t matter. When you get a guy like that, it doesn’t matter how hard he throws.
“That was probably the best game we’ve had from a starting pitcher all year.’’
Barsotti (1-1, 1.92 ERA) struck out 10 and walked only one batter to earn the team’s third complete game of the season. The 6-foot-5 right-hander worked quickly through most of the game.
“When you’re pitching well, you’re able to do that, you don’t need to really collect your thoughts as much,’’ Barsotti said. “You just say ‘Stay in that zone.’ I like starting. I missed it.’’
The Slammers (33-47) went ahead 2-0 in the first inning, taking advantage of an error to score their second run.
Darian Sandford drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a base hit by Marquis Riley (2-for-4, run, 2 RBI). A throwing error by Southern Illinois pitcher Pete Perez put Riley on third base and he scored on Jerod Yakubik’s sacrifice fly.
Vasquez kept Southern Illinois (44-36) off the scoreboard in the third with a solid throw to catcher Zack Colby to get a runner trying to score from third after a play at second base.
The finale of the series is 2:05 p.m. Sunday at Silver Cross Field.
(bullet) The Slammers on Saturday traded closer Justin Erasmus to the Gateway Grizzlies, who recently dropped to second place in the West Division. Erasmus ranks fourth in the Frontier League in saves with 17.
“It’s something they needed and we’re getting three or four guys we need for next year,’’ Breyman said. “It’s not all named yet.’’