Joliet scores six in the first and never looks back…
(Schaumburg, IL) – For the second straight day, the defending Frontier League champion Joliet Slammers looked the part as they crushed the Schaumburg Boomers in an exhibition game.
Friday’s score was 11-4 in favor of Joliet as they tallied 14 hits in the contest.
It all started with a huge first inning against Schaumburg starter Vinny Lally.
With one away Abel Nieves drew a walk. Hector Pellot followed with a single bringing Erik Lis to the plate.
Lis hit 20 home runs in 2011 and he proceeded to blast a Lally offering over the right-center field fence for the team’s first home run of Spring Training.
Joliet wasn’t done though. Reid Chenworth drew a walk and Zach Mandelblatt hit an opposite field single. After David Fox walked, it was Ben Hewett coming up big with a two-RBI single to make the score 5-0. Joliet tacked on one more run in the frame before it was called due to Lally reaching his pitch limit.
Schaumburg got one run back against Joliet starter Geoff Brown in the bottom of the first. But the University of Washington alum. bounced back and ended up throwing three solid innings. He struck out three while only walking one to earn the victory.
The Slammers added another run in the third. Fox walked to start the frame and Hewett singled him to third. Sean Estand came through with a sacrifice fly to make the score 7-1.
Schaumburg tallied three runs in the fifth to cut Joliet’s lead to 7-4 but the offense came back with a vengeance in the later innings.
With one out in the eighth, Trey Manz singled to left. He moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on one as well. Then Kyle Zimmerman, in his second at bat of the game, delivered a RBI triple to the right-center field gap. A Brad Netzel RBI single scored Zimmerman to put the Slammers up 9-4.
Joliet scored two more insurance runs in the ninth. Trevor Willis and Anthony Amedei smacked back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Two outs later Mandelblatt doubled both runners in to complete the scoring for the game.
Joliet got very solid pitching from their bullpen in the game. Brian Fowler tossed two scoreless innings. Meanwhile Daniel Carela, Amalio Diaz and Jim Schult all threw shutout innings. In total, the pitching staff struck out 12 Boomers in the game while only walking three.
Offensive stars included Nieves (2-3 with a walk), Lis (1-5 with a three-run home run), Mandelblatt (2-5 with two RBI), Fox (1-1 with two runs scored and two walks), Hewett (2-2 with two RBI), and Netzel (1-4 with two RBI).
The Slammers play their next exhibition game Saturday afternoon as they take on the American Association’s Gary South Shore RailCats at 3:00 p.m. Fans can listen on www.ustream.tv/jolietslammers.