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Slammers fall to Lake Erie in first game of doubleheader

By: Matthew Gustafson

JOLIET, IL – The Lake Erie Crushers rode an offensive surge Sunday in the middle innings of a seven-inning game to defeat the Slammers. 

The Slammers (8-12) struck fast when Tommy Stevenson singled up the middle to score Antonio Valdez, giving the team a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Joliet extended its lead to two runs with another Stevenson single, this time to left-center field, in the bottom of the third that scored Matthew Warkentin. 

Lake Erie (12-8) tied up the game in the top of the fourth. Burle Dixon led off the inning with a double down the left field line before another double by Vincent Byrd, Jr., drove him in. Byrd crossed the plate to even the score when second baseman Victor Nova mishandled a groundball from Jack Harris. 

The Crushers added another three runs the next inning in a two out rally to take the lead. Logan Thomason doubled to right-center, followed by an infield single from Burle Dixon. Thomason scored in the aftermath of the play when the Slammers failed to signal the play dead. 

Lake Erie continued its onslaught with a Scout Knotts double to right-center field, followed by a single through the right side from Vincent Byrd, Jr., to take a 5-2 lead.

The Crushers kept the Joliet offense at bay for the final three innings to secure the 5-2 victory and even up the series. 

Jack Eisenbarger was credited with the win for Lake Erie, allowing two earned runs and striking out three batters in five innings pitched. Dwayne Marshall was tagged with the loss for the Slammers, pitching all seven innings and striking out three while allowing four earned runs. 

Joliet will look to clinch a series victory in the second game of the doubleheader today, taking place approximately 30 minutes after the end of game one. 

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