Story by: Jay Sanchez
The Chicago Zephyrs needed only one more out to get through the seventh and into extra innings, but a walk-off balk made by starting pitcher Mitchell Holtz gave the Joliet Admirals’ its first victory of the season and its franchise as they won 3-2 on Sunday.
Admirals manager Jorge Garza credits Jermaine Terry who baited Holtz into the costly mistake. He was excited and relieved for his team to finally break into the win column.
“It feels great. I thought we would never get it,” Garza said laughing.
A pitchers duel between Holtz and Admirals’ starter Brock Borgeson kept the game close throughout. Both pitched complete games, but Borgeson out-dueled the righty, out of the University of Pennsylvania, allowing only three hits, two runs and striking out seven.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Brock Borgeson who had a phenomenal day on the mound today,” Garza said. “He attacked the hitters and really just gave us a chance, and that’s all I could ask for.”
Garza called Borgeson a “team-oriented” player because of his willingness to start and close for the team this season. The right-hander, who is a reliever at Simpson College in Iowa, said he enjoyed his outing as a starter considering he mainly works out of the bullpen at school.
“I don’t get a lot of opportunities to win a game myself being a guy out of the bullpen at my school, so to be able to influence a game that heavily, to pitch throughout the entirety is a good experience,” he said.
Borgeson has a traditional, three-quarter delivery but occasionally throws sidearm to throw hitters off. His high school coach recommended having multiple deliveries his senior year and “it stuck with him ever since.” He said his sidearm pitches were working and became his out pitch throughout the day.
“My slider from sidearm was really working for a strikeout pitch. It’s hit or miss because you have to be really tactful with it, and everything has to be right. It was just sliding over the plate, and they were missing it, thankfully,” he said smiling.
Jermaine Terry, who scored the game-winning run, has logged a hit in all four games thus far. Justin Kovalsky went 2 for 3 with a run scored, and Michael Kendrick went 1 for 2 with a double and a run scored as well. Also, Jeff Evak stole his fourth bag of the season after reaching on an error in the third inning.
The Admirals look to make it two in a row Tuesday against the Lexington Snipes. Ryan Van Volkenburg is expected to take the mound. First pitch is scheduled to start at 5 pm.