O'FALLON, MO--The River City Rascals bounced back from a tough loss on Thursday night for a big win on Friday at CarShield Field, beating the Joliet Slammers 7-4 in the series opener. The win marked the Rascals' first home game after a nine-game road trip spanning a week and a half. Paul Kronenfeld, Zach Lavy, and Braxton Martinez all homered for the Rascals in the victory.
The Slammers scored first, with RJ Thompson bringing home Trenton Hill on a fielder's choice in the top of the first inning. Hill had reached base on a one-out triple. The Rascals then erupted for five runs of their own in the bottom of the first, on an RBI groundout from Mike Jurgella, and two-run homers from both Kronenfeld and Lavy.
After the Slammers scored three unanswered runs, including a two-run shot from Ridge Hoopii-Haslem in the top of the sixth inning, the Rascals responded with a two-run home run of their own from Braxton Martinez, putting the game out of reach.
Jonny Ortiz (4-1) earned the win for the Rascals, in his second professional start. Ortiz went six innings, allowing four runs and striking out five, while walking three. Chad Gendron, Joe Iorio and Cody Mincey combined for three scoreless innings out of the Rascals bullpen, with Mincey picking up his 14th save of the year.
Darren Osby (2-1) suffered the loss for Joliet, allowing five runs in one inning, before the Slammers turned to the bullpen. Skylar Janisse gave them five innings of work, allowing two runs, and Nathan Antone did not allow a hit over the final two innings.
The Rascals (27-22) and Slammers (27-22) play Game 2 of the series tomorrow night at CarShield Field, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35pm CT.