Story by: Jay Sanchez
Not one team has hit a home run at the Joliet Admirals’ home field. Its dimensions are 375 feet in the alleys, 400 in center field, 330 down the left-field line, and a short, 275 towards the right-field line, but there’s high fences all around. Combine that with the use of wooden bats, and it makes for a difficult time to hit one over the wall.
So, the Admirals hitters were licking their chops Monday at Southland, which has a field with shorter dimensions, as numerous baseballs were clearing the fence during batting practice.
Jermaine Terry provided one of the two home runs by the Admirals’ offense. He followed Justin Kovalsky’s RBI single with a two-run shot to cap off a 3-0 early lead in the first inning.
“Right off the bat, I knew it was gone,” Terry said about his home run. “It felt great.”
The outfielder, who plays at Lakeland Community College, also hit a double off the center-field wall and finished the night 2 for 3 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks.
Jeff Evak hit an opposite-field solo home run in the fifth inning to extend the Admirals lead to 5-3. The right-fielder, out of Purdue University, finished 2 for 5 and also extends his hitting streak to five games.
However, the two-run lead that Evak delivered was squandered as the Southland Vikings (8-6) scored four runs in the bottom half of that same inning, which gave them the lead, and they didn’t look back. The Admirals (3-9) were defeated 11-6 and extended their losing streak to six.
“We just got to come together as a team,” said utility player Joey Anderson. “Like when we were on our three-game win streak, we just got to put that all back together and figure it out as a team.”
Kovalsky’s single that drove in Ryan Kent back in the first inning was his first RBI of the season. Along with the RBI, he finished 1 for 3, two runs scored and a walk. Chip Bouchard has had plenty of singles on the season, but his RBI double that drove in Terry in the third inning was his first extra-base hit of the season.
Also, outfielder Jay Roberts returned from injury but wasn’t 100 percent healthy for his Admirals debut. He hit the ball hard, but was hitless.
He and the team will have some rest as there will be no games for the next three days before a busy day on Friday in which there will be two road clashes: A day game against the DuPage Hounds, and a night matchup against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
So fans going to Friday’s games, brace yourself for lots of driving.