Baseball: Slammers top Frontier Greys 11-6 on Military Night
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 21, 2013 10:30PM
Updated: August 21, 2013 10:51PM
Promotions, giveaways and theme nights are an important part of minor league baseball, with Military Appreciation Night at the top of the Joliet Slammers’ list.
Members of the Armed Forces were recognized and applauded between innings of Joliet’s 11-6 victory Wednesday night over Frontier at Silver Cross Field, a rare chance lately for local fans to appreciate winning baseball.
A moment of silence was observed before the game to honor the military. Team mascot Spikes enthusiastically waved an American flag when he came onto the field after the first inning.
The Greys might have felt like waving a white flag from their dugout when the Slammers built an 11-1 lead after five innings, compiling 15 hits in the process.
Slammers starter Shawn Kale (5-3) benefited from the long hit parade. The 25-year-old right-hander put together a solid outing, allowing one run and five hits in six innings, with six strikeouts and two walks.
The Slammers (34-49) have done well with Kale on the mound this season, going 9-4 in his 13 starts. Kale is a second-year pro out of Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Marquis Riley and Grant DeBruin each had three hits for Joliet and Niko Vasquez contributed two doubles.
In between applauding members of the Armed Forces, Slammers fans had plenty to cheer about early in the game. Joliet built a 7-1 lead after three innings, scoring three runs in the first and third innings.
Riley’s two-run single in the first brought in Jerod Yakubik (infield hit) and Joe Meggs (double). DeBruin’s single scored Riley for a 3-0 lead.
Vasquez delivered an RBI double in the second inning, his 11th RBI in his previous 12 games.
In the third, Zak Colby, Darian Sandford and Yakubik all reached safely. Colby scored on Yakubik’s single and an error put Joliet ahead 7-1.
Despite the win, August has not been a good month for the Slammers, who are 6-13 to date. Their best month was a 12-13 record in July.
Joliet left-hander Chuck Lofgren (6-6, 4.56 ERA) will pitch the series finale at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.
The Slammers play a road series Friday through Sunday against Rockford before the final three home games of their Frontier League season next week against Evansville.