Joliet Admirals’ bats get hot in second straight win

Story by:  Jay Sanchez

Pitching and defense have been up and down all season, but the offense has been a consistent struggle, according to Admirals manager Jorge Garza. However, following Tuesday’s 8-6 win over the Lexington Snipes, he said the offense “is starting to turn around a little bit.”

After averaging under three runs a game through four contests, the Admirals’ bats came to life as their 14 hits against Snipes’ pitching doubles their previous season high as they claimed their second win of the season. Starting the preseason with only a few practices and an 0-3 regular season start, the Admirals have now won two in a row and are starting to gel better as a team.

“It feels like we’re starting to click,” said Garza. We’re starting to do some things right around here, and if the guys buy in to what I’m trying to preach to them, we’ll be very successful this summer.”

The offense picked up Admirals’ starter Ryan Van Volkenburg who went five innings, gave up three earned runs and struck out one. Not one player in the lineup was hitless. Six players had multi-hit games. It started off with Michael Diviesti and Bill Chandler logging back-to-back triples to tie the game in the first inning. The team scored at least a run in each of the first four innings off of Snipes’ starter Josh Tonozzi.

Steve Waldrop pitched three innings in relief for the Admirals and gave up one run and struck out three before Chip Bouchard closed out the ninth inning to earn the first save in the team’s history. What’s interesting is that Bouchard has only appeared at first base for the Admirals and hasn’t pitched in years. Still, Garza gave him the nod to finish the game. He said that he likes to have two-way players to give more flexibility to the roster in terms of in-game substitutions.

“He told me he hasn’t pitched since high school. I gave him a shot today, and he’ll probably see some more innings this summer,” Garza said.

Joey Anderson and Jermaine Terry are the only players to have started in every game this summer. They both didn’t disappoint today with Anderson going 2 for 4 with two RBIs, a run scored, and Terry going 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored as well. Garza said he has kept these two in the lineup because of their hustle, effort and the little things that impact a baseball game a big way.

“The one thing I tell the guys is ‘give me a reason to never take you out,'” he said. “If you do what you have to do for the team, I’m going to leave you in there,” Garza later added.

Terry, who was red-shirted in the Spring at Lakeland Community College, is happy to get the needed playing time and appreciates the trust that Garza instills in him.

“He likes me out there,” Terry said. “He could put me out there, and I’ll make the plays for him which I’ll continue to do my best to do.”

The Admirals will try and make it three in a row and make to .500 on the season when they host the Dupage Hounds at Wayne L. King Jr. Field. Quinn Ahern is expected to take the mound. First pitch is at 5 pm.

 

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