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Titans break out bats, clinch series over Slammers

By: Matthew Gustafson

JOLIET, IL – Offensive outbursts in the early and late innings Saturday lifted the Ottawa Titans to a second consecutive win over the Slammers. 

Joliet (22-28) started the game off with a bang. Jeissy De La Cruz singled through the left side and Matthew Warkentin doubled down the left field line to put both runners in scoring position. Drew Stengren singled to left field, scoring De La Cruz to put the Slammers up 1-0 in the opening inning. 

Ottawa (89-18) responded with four runs in the next half. Christian Ibarra and Jamey Smart both singled to start the inning, then stole second and third in a double steal. Brendan O’Donnell brought them home with a three-run home run to right field, his second consecutive game with a longball, to take a 3-1 lead. 

Taylor Wright continued the rally, reaching first base on a bunt single and stealing second. He scored on an AJ Wright single down the right field line, extending the Titans’ advantage to three runs. 

The Slammers cut into the deficit in the bottom of the seventh when Jonathan Sierra hit a leadoff home run to right field, making it a 4-2 game. 

Ottawa secured its lead for good, though, with three runs in the top of the ninth. Brendan O’Donnell and Taylor Wright hit singles before Michael Fuhrman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Aaron Casillas then cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. 

Jonah Jenkins pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to finish off the series-clinching win for the Titans. 

Grant Larson earned the win for Ottawa, allowing nine hits and two earned runs with three punchouts in eight innings pitched. Dwayne Marshall was tagged with the loss for Joliet, pitching six innings with five hits and four earned runs allowed while striking out four. 

The Slammers will aim to avoid the sweep tomorrow, July 7, as the team celebrates Christmas in July. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.

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