O'FALLON, Mo. -- The River City Rascals defeated the Joliet Slammers 8-3 in their series opening match-up on Friday night. Kameron Esthay had four of the team's season-high 17 hits, and starter Alex Winkelman took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the victory.
Esthay led-off the fourth inning with a double, which was followed by a two-run blast from Nolan Meadows to put the Rascals on the board 2-0. James Morisano and Artemis Kadkhodaian added back-to-back RBI doubles later in the frame to make it 4-0 Rascals. The Slammers struck for three runs in the sixth, on a three-run homer from Chaz Meadows. Jared Morello bunted his way aboard for the first Slammers hit to start the inning.
The Rascals added to their lead with an RBI single from Meadows in seventh, and then tacked on three more runs in the eighth, on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Penner, an RBI double from Braxton Martinez, and also scoring on a wild pitch.
Winkelman (3-2) finished with 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. Jason Zgardowski, Brendan Feldmann and Yeison Medina combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings out of the Rascals bullpen to close out the game.
Scot Hoffman (3-1) took the loss for Joliet, allowing four runs on ten hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.
The Rascals (15-10) and Slammers (9-16) meet in the middle game of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT from CarShield Field. Dalton Roach will take the mound for the Rascals.