14 May A Pitcher’s Duel
Lone Run In The Seventh Enough For Widger To Get First Miners Win
May 13, Joliet, IL – It was deja vu all over again, as the Sussex County Miners and Joliet Slammers matched zeroes for six innings. And again, as was the case last night, the Miners would score a lone run in the top of the seventh to take a lead, and hold it going to the bottom of the ninth inning. But this time, the Miners were able to hold Joliet off of the scoreboard, and notch new manager Chris Widger his first victory as the Sussex County skipper as the Miners held Joliet to just two hits in a 1-0 triumph in front of 1118 fans at Duly Health and Care Field.
As was the case in the opener, both teams had opportunities early but couldn’t cash in. In this contest, it was some stellar defensive plays that kept any runs from crossing the plate. Miners starting pitcher Tyler Thornton made two excellent plays off of the mound defensively, once diving to the bag in time after picking up a ball that was knocked down by Gavin Stupienski to end the second inning, then rushing toward home plate to flip the ball to Jason Agresti in time to get a force play in a bases loaded situation in the third. Thornton would allow just one hit through the first four innings before giving way to Alex Hart, who briskly worked his way through the Slammers lineup.
For the Slammers, it was Cameron Aufterheide’s turn to churn out an excellent starting performance for the Slammers. The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, scattering five hits in the process while not allowing a run. And when Caden O’Brien finished off the sixth inning, both teams were in a familiar scoreless game heading to the seventh.
And, as was the case on Friday night, the Miners would score first again tonight. This time, it came without the benefit of a hit. Will Zimmerman drew a leadoff walk, then stole second on a pickoff attempt, and followed that by swiping third base cleanly. After a Willie Escala walk, Chandler Brierley would come on, but a fastball got past catcher J.P. Fullerton, and Zimmerman would scamper home to give the Miners a 1-0 lead.
After Hart finished the seventh – contributing three innings of one-hit ball of his own – the Miners turned to Freisis Adames for the eighth inning. Adames worked a very tidy frame that included a pair of strikeouts, and Chris Widger opted to send Friesis back out for the ninth. And Adames did not disappoint, as he got another strikeout and two fly outs to right field to finish off the Miners win, and give former Major Leaguer Widger his first win as Miners manager.
The series wraps up Sunday afternoon at 2:05 pm, with Cole Davis taking the mound for the Miners, who will be opposed by Turner Larkins for the Slammers.