Jones' Dominant Start Lifts Tully Monsters Past NERDS Herd, 6-0
JOLIET, IL - The Joliet Tully Monsters soundly defeated the NERDS Herd by a score of 6-0 in the first leg of Saturday's City of Champions Cup doubleheader. Starting pitcher Tyler Jones shut the NERDS Herd's lineup down over eight dominant innings while the Tully Monsters bashed a pair of home runs to highlight an excellent day offensively.
Jones was a force on the mound for the Tully Monsters, spinning eight shutout innings in Saturday afternoon's gem. He struck out seven and gave up six hits and two walks on the way to his second win of the summer.
Right fielder Alex McKenna got the scoring started for the Tully Monsters in the second inning. He lofted an opposite-field homer on an 0-2 count to lead off the frame. The towering solo shot brought McKenna's team-leading home run total to four in the City of Champions Cup. In total, the slugging outfielder was 1-for-2 with the homer, two walks, a stolen base, an RBI and two runs scored.
First baseman Luke Mangieri stayed hot at the plate for the Tully Monsters in Saturday's victory. He ripped a leadoff home run to deep right-center field in the fourth inning to put the Tully Monsters up 2-0. Mangieri now has two homers and four RBIs in his last three games at DuPage Medical Group Field.
The Tully Monsters plated two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to break the game wide open. In the fifth, catcher Zack Soria singled, and shortstop Tyler Depreta-Johnson followed with an RBI double down the left field line. Depreta-Johnson came around to score on designated hitter Alonzo Jones' RBI groundout. In the sixth, left fielder Michael Deeb stung a single into right field to score McKenna, and Soria singled up the middle soon after to bring Deeb home. The Tully Monsters backstop was 2-for-3 at the dish in Saturday's contest with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
Bobby Milacki took over for Jones on the mound in the ninth inning, retiring the first three batters of the frame in order to complete the shutout. The right-handed reliever lowered his City of Champions Cup ERA to 1.29 with the scoreless outing.
Second baseman Brylie Ware recorded the only extra base hit for the NERDS Herd in Saturday's loss. Ware smashed a double to the wall in right field, though he would be stranded at third base to end the frame. Left fielder Terence Doston also stood out in an otherwise quiet day for the NERDS Herd offensively: He was the only NERDS Herd player with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 at the plate, and he also contributed a stolen base.
Andrew Fernandez, Eric Ezersky and Caleb Murphy each pitched a scoreless inning in relief for the NERDS Herd to hold the Tully Monsters' lead at six runs.
With Saturday's win, the second-place Tully Monsters improved to 15-11 in the City of Champions Cup. The fourth-place NERDS Herd fell to 7-18 with the loss. The Tully Monsters will play the Chicago Deep Dish on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. in their final City of Champions Cup contest, while the NERDS Herd will wrap their season up against the Joliet Slammers on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.
Runs Hits Errors Left on Base
Joliet Tully Monsters 6 7 0 3
NERDS Herd 0 5 1 4
WP - Tyler Jones (2-2)
LP - Scott Firth (1-3)
Today's Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the Game: Tyler Jones (8 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K)
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