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Late rally lifts Titans over Slammers

By: Matthew Gustafson

JOLIET, IL – The Slammers were unable to hold onto a late lead Friday as the Ottawa Titans scored three runs in the final inning, taking the first game of the series. 

Ottawa (29-18) struck first with a run in the opening frame. Jake Guenther grounded out with runners at second and third to score AJ Wright before Slammers starter Zac Westcott got out of the jam with two straight outs. 

Joliet (22-27) responded in the bottom of the second. A single by Jonathan Sierra and walk by Victor Nova setup Cal Hejza’s single through the left side, scoring Sierra to tie the game at 1-1. 

The Slammers took the lead the next inning. Matthew Warkentin doubled to left-center field before Drew Stengren singled up the middle to bring him home. The pair were both named Frontier League All-Stars before the game today. 

The Titans knotted the score at 2-2 the next half, the top of the fourth, when Victor Cerny singled to right field to score Jamey Smart. 

Joliet broke the game open in the bottom of the inning. Cal Hejza singled and Liam McArthur was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Antonio Valdez, who hit a three-run homer to right field to put the Slammers up 5-2. 

Joliet walked in a run in the top of the seventh, cutting the lead to two, before Ottawa made its comeback in the final inning. 

Christian Ibarra singled to left field before scoring on a Taylor Wright double to left-center with two outs, making it 5-4. The Titans took the lead the next at-bat when Brendan O’Donnell homered to right field, scoring Wright. 

McLain Harris held the Slammers scoreless in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 6-5 victory for Ottawa. 

Scott Prins allowed 10 hits and five earned runs while striking out three batters in six innings for the Titans. Zac Westcott struck out three and allowed four hits and two earned runs across six innings pitched for Joliet. 

The Slammers will look to even the series tomorrow, July 6, as the team has a mystery bobblehead giveaway. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m.

For information on season tickets, premium suites or group outings, please visit the Slammers’ official website at