JOLIET, IL--The River City Rascals dropped their third straight game on Tuesday night at Route 66 Stadium, losing the series opener to the Joliet Slammers by a final score of 6-3. Slammers starter Liam O'Sullivan (6-2) was brilliant, going 8 2/3 innings while allowing five hits, two earned runs, no walks and striking out eight.
The Slammers chased Rascals starter David Flattery (0-1) early, after scoring scoring four runs in the first inning. Three consecutive hitters walked with one out, setting up a sacrifice fly from Trey Fulton and then a three-run blast to left from Justin Garcia.
The Rascals got on the board with a Clint Freeman sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, but Garcia extented the lead back to four with a sacrifice fly of his own in the fifth. Travis Bolin hit a one-out triple in the eighth inning, scoring on a Chaz Meadows sacrifice fly to give the Slammers the 6-1 lead.
Freeman doubled with two outs in the ninth, and Ross Haffey powered a two-run homer to right to pull the Rascals within three, before Ottavio Dattolo came on to record the final out, picking up his second save of the year.
Rascals reliever Dalton Roach gave the team six solid innings out of the bullpen in his professional debut, allowing just one run and striking out four.
The Rascals (30-25) look to bounce back against the Slammers (31-24) in the middle game of the series tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 am CT. Lucas Laster will start on the mound for the Rascals in his return from the injured reserve.