Things’ offense runs wild on Joliet
JOLIET, Ill. – The Wild Things could not muster much offense against Slammers starting pitcher Blair Walters for six innings Wednesday night. He allowed just two hits entering the inning and attempted to complete a complete game shutout until Washington pounced.
The Wild Things tagged Walters for three runs in the seventh to complete a rally, as Washington defeated Joliet, 3-2, in a seven-inning game Wednesday night.
The Things defeated the Slammers, 6-2, earlier in the day to complete the game suspended Tuesday night due to rain. The Wild Things have now won seven of their last eight games.
The Wild Things (7-4) did not record a hit until the fourth inning and trailed the Slammers, who scored a first-inning run.
Washington trailed 2-0 entering the seventh inning when two walks and a single loaded the bases. Walters was relieved by Jordan Wellander, who walked pinch-hitter William Beckwith to force in a run and draw the Things to within one with only one out. With the count even at one ball and one strike in the following at-bat, Washington center fielder Daniel Poma hit a two-run single to give the Wild Things a 3-2 lead.
Jonathan Kountis closed Joliet out in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the save and Matt Purnell earned the win after pitching the sixth inning.
The Wild Things surrendered an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Slammers center fielder Darian Sandford reached on a error by Washington first baseman Michael Allen. A fielder’s choice and back-to-back walks loaded the bases before Joliet’s Grant DeBruin hit a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Slammers the advantage.
Walters pitched a perfect three innings before Max Garrett hit a single in the top of the fourth. Garrett was subsequently caught stealing and Washington was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Wild Things pitcher Tim Flight pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two unearned run on four hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Joliet added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Slammers first baseman Adam Giacalone reached first on a error by Washington second baseman Nick Ratajczak and came around to score later on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Adam Lewis.
The first game Wednesday picked up in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Wild Things leading 6-1. Left-handed pitcher Zach Fuesser took the mound and threw four scoreless innings for Washington. The Slammers recorded four hits off Fuesser, including a two-out double in the fifth inning, but he ended the threat with a ground out. The lefty struck out three and allowed just two hits to claim his second win of the season.
Al Yevoli took over for Fuesser in the eight inning and allowed a one-out walk to Sandford. In the following at-bat, Slammers second baseman Marquis Riley flied out to center field before designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer hit a two-out, RBI double to draw Joliet to within four runs.
Pat Bulter closed the Slammers out in the bottom of the ninth inning by sitting three of Joliet’s hitters down in order.
Washington quickly grabbed the lead Tuesday night before the game was suspended when Steward Ijames and C.J. Beatty hit solo home runs.
Ijames’ home run started a four-run second inning and Beatty added his fourth homer of the season during the third inning. Catcher Jim Vahalik drove in two runs for the Wild Things with a double and a ground out, Poma had a two-run single and Maxx Garrett went 2-for-4 with two runs.
Washington and Joliet wrap-up their series tonight at 8 p.m. The Wild Things sit in second place in the East Division and are just one-half game behind first-place Evansville.