Joliet, IL —The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy found their offensive stride Thursday morning against the visiting Otters of Evansville in a 7-2 victory. After dropping the last two games to the Otters, losing them 6-3 on Tuesday and 6-4 on Wednesday, the Slammers wanted to ensure that they came out of their opening home series with a win.
The Slammers, now 1-5, had struggled in their previous games and could not find their way out of difficult situations. When runners were in scoring position, they were unable to bring them home. This was not the case Thursday morning.
After starting pitcher Scot Hoffman got the Slammers out of a bases loaded jam, the team went to work at the plate, driving in three runs in the top of the 1st. Third basemen Danny Zardon would start the scoring with a single into center field to bring home Thompson from second base. After an offensive push and a few walks at the plate, second baseman Hoopi-Haslam hit a fly ball to shallow left field that passed the fielder and scored two runners on base. The Slammers would lead (3-0) after one inning.
A pitching mistake by Evansville pitcher Nathan Foriest in the bottom of the 2nd allowed the Slammers to advance runners and score one more run (4-0). Two innings later, Slammers DH Justin Garcia would connect with an outside pitch and shot it over the right field wall for a 340 foot home run (5-0).
Scot Hoffman would continue to pitch until the 6th inning. He allowed only four hits and gave up no runs in five innings, striking out four batters.
The Otters would find two runs in the 7th, including a Zach Welz sacrifice fly (5-2). But the Slammers would fight back and score two runs of their own. An RJ Thompson single to Otters first baseman Dulin was bobbled and scored Hoopii-Haslam from third (7-2).
The Slammers would close out the game and walk away with their first win of the season with a final score of 7-2.
Today’s Merchants and Manufacturers Player of the Game is 2B Ridge Hoopii-Haslam who batted 2-4 on the day, with 2 RBIs and 1 Run scored.
The Slammers continue their homestand against the Windy City Thunderbolts on Friday at 7:05 pm for Salute to Broadway Night.