Story by: Jay Sanchez
The Joliet Admirals lost their home opener Thursday night against the Southland Vikings 6-2.
After talking with Admirals manager Jorge Garza, the story for the Admirals’ defeat could be summed up into two words: timely hitting.
The Admirals were only able to get three hits off of Vikings pitching and had five more runners on base via walk and errors, however, they weren’t able to capitalize on those opportunities to score. They were able to score their first run by way of an error made by Vikings’ catcher Nate Ruzich when he threw the ball over the first baseman’s head on a failed pick-off attempt. Admirals’ lead-off man Jermaine Terry was able to score from first as the overthrow rolled all the way to the right-field fence. Their second run was scored a few innings later on an RBI groundout.
The Admirals were able to keep their 2-0 lead up until the seventh inning when the Vikings scored five runs and tacked on an insurance run in the ninth.
“We started off strong, but unfortunately it’s a nine-inning game, so we didn’t end up so strong,” said Garza.
One of the main factors into the Admirals’ strong start in the game was due to their starting pitcher Quinn Ahern. He was able to go six scoreless innings before things unraveled in the seventh inning when the bullpen struggled. Garza was proud of Ahern who he considers his ace “as of right now.”
“He’s the no.1, no. 2 starter at his junior college so I knew coming into the season I could rely on him,” said Garza. “He did a great job today. I was really proud of him.”
Coach Garza would like the team to improve on its timely hitting, as well as the pitching which he says “is going to come along with time.”
The Joliet Admirals play again Friday at home at Wayne L. King Jr. Stadium at Joliet Junior College. First pitch is expected at 5pm.