A three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning stood to be the game winner as the River City Rascals (25-27) were defeated, 3-2, by the Schaumburg Boomers (34-16) in the final game before the Frontier League All-Star break.
The loss puts the Rascals two games under the .500 mark and it is their fourth series loss in 2017 at CarShield Field.
Despite the loss, the Rascals opened the game with an offensive highlight against the Boomers starting pitcher Michael Wood.
Down in the count 1-2, Jimmy Kerrigan launched a ball over the left field wall to put his team up by a run. The solo shot was his eighth of the year, which is tied for first on the team and it also marked the first Rascals leadoff home run since Alexi Colon accomplished that feat on July 2, 2016.
In the third inning, the Rascals got a leadoff single from newcomer Josh Bunselmeyer and then he got to third on the second hit of the night from Kerrigan.
Searching to knock off Frontier League’s top team for the third time this year, Clint Freeman drove a ball to center field that was deep enough for a sacrifice fly and give the Rascals a 2-0 lead.
However, Freeman’s RBI would be the final of the night for the hometown team and the two-run lead would go away in the top of the sixth.
On the mound for the Rascals was Hector Hernandez and he shut out the Boomers for the first five innings with the help of two inning ending double play balls.
He was one out away from shutting out the opponent for six innings but with two on and two out with full count, Boomers right fielder David Harris stroked the ball over the center field wall to give his team a 3-2 lead which would stand the rest of the way.
That was the final frame for Hernandez and despite his sixth quality start, he took his sixth loss of the year. His final line was six innings, allowing three runs, earned, on seven hits and struck out one.
The Rascals got the tying run in their final four innings but failed to bring anyone into score against starter Michael Wood and a pair of relievers, including Kyle Westwood who earned a tough save.
Westwood was helped by his defense in the eighth inning as the Rascals got a leadoff single from Kerrigan and then after a stolen base to put him in scoring position, Harris threw out Kerrigan at the plate on a single from Clint Freeman.
The assist helped his starter, Wood, earn his first win of his professional career as he went six innings and gave up the two runs, earned, on six hits and struck out five.
In total, the Rascals tallied eight hits and Kerrigan led the way with four of them for the third time this year which is a 2017 Rascals record.
The Rascals will have four days off for the Frontier League All-Star break and then continue their season on the road on Friday, July 14, in Marion, Illinois against the Southern Illinois Miners.
Mike Jurgella and Josh Silver will represent the Rascals in the All-Star game which takes place at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Illinois, on Wednesday.