Wild Things Finish First Sweep of 2019
JOLIET, Il. - With an opportunity to earn a sweep for the first time in the 2019 season Sunday, the Wild Things did not disappoint, as they took the finale at Joliet 4-2, behind great pitching for the third-straight night.
The teams traded solo home runs in the second inning to open the scoring at DuPage Medical Group Field. Left fielder JJ Fernandez hit a one-out blast for his fifth of the season and 20th RBI. Harrison Bragg, the Slammers' third baseman, led off the second with his first in a Joliet uniform.
The game would only be tied until the fourth inning, when the Wild Things loaded the bases with nobody out. Right fielder Cameron Baranek's sac fly for the first out made it 2-1 Wild Things, but that was all the Things would get in the frame. They'd add a run on a Baranek fielder's choice in the sixth to lead 3-1.
Nick Wegmann (2-3) got the win, after tossing 5.1 innings of one-run ball. He exited in the fifth with runners on first and third and one out in favor of reliever James Meeker, who struck out Bragg for the second out and on the same pitch, Riley Krane was caught stealing for the third out, as he came up off the bag after being safe and was tagged out to end the threat for the Slammers.
Meeker tossed a scoreless seventh and struck out three (four total in his outing) before the Wild Things added a run on a single scoring Fernandez, who was on base all four times he came to the plate, in the eighth by Drew Bene, Washington's catcher. That made it 4-1.
Joliet got a run on a flare to center by Harrison Bragg in the eighth it make it 4-2. Then Zach Strecker slammed the door in the ninth, earning his fifth save of the year in the process. Strecker has not been scored upon in 20.2 career innings against Joliet, including the postseason.
The Wild Things, who have now won three in a row for the first time in 2019, turn their attention to a three-game homestand and week-day series with the Evansville Otters. The series opener between the cross-division foes will take place Tuesday at Wild Things Park with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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