Coolbaugh's Clutch Hits Lead Slammers to 4-2 Win
JOLIET, IL - A strong start from pitcher Keegan Long and clutch hitting from Tyler Coolbaugh lead the Joliet Slammers to a win over the Evansville Otters on Wednesday night.
Long pitched well early, allowing just one baserunner through the first three innings of work. The Otters finally broke it open in the top of the 4th however, with Carlos Castro driving in Ryan Long from second on a double down the third-base line. Long sat down Mitchell Hansen via the ground out on the next play to end the Otters' side. The Slammers would go down in order in their half, and the 4th ended with the Otters hanging on to a 1-0 lead.
The Otters' lead would not last long, with the Slammers earning their first run of the game in the bottom of the 5th. After Ridge Hoopii-Haslam advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, he reached home when Castro failed to throw him out at the plate on a fielder's choice. A Cody Clark strikeout ended the inning at 1-1.
Following a Dakota Phillips double that put Long on third, the Otters would break the tie in the top of the 6th on a sacrifice fly to left field from Hansen. The Slammers responded on an RBI single from Coolbaugh to right field, driving in London Lindley from second. They would take the lead after Riley Krane reached first, with Brian Parrieradriving him home on an RBI double to left-center. The inning ended with the Slammers ahead 3-2.
Relieving Long in the top of the 7th, Ryan Koziol held the Otters at two runs, pitching himself out of a jam after Mike Rizzitello reached third. Koziol worked through the Otters again in the 8th, holding the score going into the bottom of the inning, where the Slammers added to their leadon aCoolbaugh single up the middle that brought Chaz Meadows in from second. The Slammers left two runners on base to end the inning with a 4-2 lead.
Earning a three-inning save, Koziol shut down the Otters again in the top of the 9th, securing the Slammers a 4-2 home win.
Today's Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the Game is Tyler Coolbaugh (2/4 with 2 RBIs).
The Slammers will square off against the Otters again tomorrow, June 6th, in the final clash of this three-game series.
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- Calabrese with Key Hits, Wynne Works into Ninth in Otters Win - Evansville Otters
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