FLORENCE, Ky. – Although the Joliet Slammers entered this weekend’s Frontier League series at West Division leader Florence with a 12-18 record, they’ve already managed to claim the three-game set before Sunday’s finale after capturing wins Friday and Saturday.
Joliet scored four runs apiece in the second and fifth innings to jump out to an 8-1 advantage in Saturday’s contest and went on to pick up a 12-2 victory over the Freedom.
Shane Bryant allowed seven hits and two runs in seven innings to pick up the win, while Gibson Russ only yielded two hits during his two innings of relief.
Edwin Gomez (two RBIs), Juan Silva (2 for 5), Melvin Rodriguez (2 for 3) and Alex Rodriguez (2 for 4, four RBIs) all hit home runs for the Slammers, who finished with 11 hits. Other Joliet leaders offensively were Josh Merrigan (2 for 6) and Chaz Meadows (2 for 5).
The Slammers broke things open in the fifth when they built on a 4-1 lead by scoring four times. Silva started things with a homer and Alex Rodriguez later added a three-run blast.
For Florence (21-11), Jose Brizuela, Collins Cuthrell and Austin Wobrock all went 2 for 4.
In Friday’s series opener, the Slammers scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to break open a 3-3 contest and capture a 6-4 victory despite being outhit, 12-9.
Skylar Janisse yielded 10 hits in 52⁄3 innings, but he only gave up three earned runs while striking out six to collect the victory. Joseph Ortiz, Jordan Wellander and Confesor Lara (save) combined to give up just two hits and one run during the final 31⁄3 innings.
After both teams scored runs in the first inning, Joliet went up, 3-1, in the second and Florence tied it at 3 in the third. In the Slammers’ fourth, Merrigan (2 for 5, two RBIs) singled in a run to put his team up for good. An inning later, Silva (2 for 3) came home on a passed ball and then in the seventh, Danny Zardon doubled in a run for a 6-3 lead.
The squads conclude the weekend series at 6:05 p.m. Sunday.