WASHINGTON, Pa. (June 9) – A fourth inning RBI-double by designated hitter Louis Mele proved to be the difference maker as the Washington Wild Things held off the Joliet Slammers’ comeback attempt, taking game two of the three-game series 5-4.
The team’s sixth win in a row keeps the Wild Things in first place in the Frontier League Eastern Division as they move to 17-9, while the Slammers fall to 10-15 in 2018. With the Lake Erie Crushers’ loss to Schaumburg, the Wild Things are now two games up in the division.
Right fielder Hector Roa got the Wild Things on the board in the bottom of the second inning, plating first baseman Reydel Medina, who tripled two batters earlier, on a sacrifice fly.
Then in the bottom of the third, Washington pushed three more runs across thanks to RBI-singles from center fielder James Harris and second baseman Carter McEachern, as well as a sacrifice fly off the bat of left fielder Roman Collins.
The hot Washington bats carried into the fourth, as Mele drove in Roa with a double, his second of the game, to extend the advantage to 5-0.
Washington starting pitcher Trevor Bradley, who made his first start of 2018 after being used solely out of bullpen, was strong through five innings of work against Joliet. The right-hander to that point in the game had only allowed one hit and no runs.
However, Bradley faced adversity in the top of the sixth when he allowed three of the first four batters of the inning to reach base, prompting manager Gregg Langbehn to go to Mike Anthony in the bullpen.
Anthony immediately allowed a two-RBI double to Joliet right fielder Travis Bolin, then an RBI-single to first baseman Trenton Hill and finally a sacrifice fly off the bat of second baseman Dom Iero. Once Anthony got the final out of the inning, the Wild Things’ lead had been cut to 5-4.
Fortunately for Washington, the bullpen trio of Jamal Wilson, Davis Adkins and Zach Strecker combined to shutout the Joliet offensive attack over the final three innings of the game. Strecker recorded his eighth save of the season in the process.
Bradley grabbed his second win of the season after tossing 5.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven batters, a career high.
Five different Washington batters recorded RBI during the game, and seven different batters had hits for the Wild Things.
The Wild Things and Slammers will finish the three-game set tomorrow afternoon at 5:35. With a win in that game, Washington can secure its second-straight sweep and third overall sweep on the season, as well as potentially a seventh-straight win.