Lienhard, Tully Monsters Shut out NERDS Herd 7-0
JOLIET, IL - The Joliet Tully Monsters shut out the NERDS Herd in Wednesday night's City of Champions Cup matchup, 7-0. Starting pitcher Joe Lienhard followed up his seven-inning, one-hit masterpiece last Tuesday with another dominant start, and the Tully Monsters backed his effort with enough timely hitting to secure the victory.
Lienhard spun seven shutout innings on the mound for the Tully Monsters, matching his season high of eight strikeouts that he posted in last week's one-hitter. He allowed just four hits and no walks en route to his third win of the City of Champions Cup.
Second baseman Manny Jefferson had the longest hit of the night, blasting a solo home run over the left field wall in the ninth inning to put the Tully Monsters up 7-0. The dinger was Jefferson's first of the summer.
Third baseman Caleb Ricca continued his red-hot summer at the plate for the Tully Monsters on Wednesday night. In the third inning, the leadoff man scorched a double into the left-center field gap. Ricca brought his season RBI total up to 10 with the two-run knock, complementing his team-leading batting average of .333.
First baseman Christian Funk provided a two-RBI double of his own in the eighth inning to pad the Tully Monsters lead. After the Tully Monsters worked three consecutive walks to lead off the inning, Funk's line drive into the right-center field gap cleared the bases, although NERDS Herd center fielder Ashton Creal and second baseman Matt McGarry executed a perfect relay to record an out at home and deny Funk of a third RBI.
The Tully Monsters plated their other two runs in the fourth inning of Wednesday's victory. Center fielder Alex McKenna led the frame off with a triple down the right field line. He scored on right fielder Matthew Koehler's RBI groundout. Left fielder Alonzo Jones manufactured the other run in the inning: He worked a walk, stole second and later stole home successfully to give the Tully Monsters the 4-0 lead.
Bobby Milacki relieved Lienhard with a scoreless eighth inning on the mound, and Kyle Johnson took over in the ninth and finished off the shutout with a pair of punchouts.
Wes Albert pitched six innings for the NERDS Herd in his start Wednesday night, allowing four earned runs on three hits and three walks. Though he was tagged with the loss, Albert missed a lot of bats: He struck out nine batters, tying the season high he first achieved last Tuesday.
Third baseman Brylie Ware stood out for the NERDS Herd on a night that most of the lineup struggled. Ware was 2-for-4, accounting for half of the NERDS Herd's hits in the loss.
With Wednesday night's win, the second-place Tully Monsters improved to 13-10 in the City of Champions Cup. The fourth-place NERDS Herd fell to 7-17 after Wednesday's loss. The Tully Monsters will take on the Chicago Deep Dish on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. in their next City of Champions Cup tilt, while the NERDS Herd will play next against the Tully Monsters again on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
Runs Hits Errors Left on Base
Joliet Tully Monsters 7 5 0 5
NERDS Herd 0 4 0 5
WP - Joe Lienhard (3-0)
LP - Wes Albert (2-4)
Tonight's Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the Game: Joe Lienhard (7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K)
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