The River City Rascals (25-25) used a pair of early home runs and a solid pitching performance to cruise past the Schaumburg Boomers (33-15), 9-3, in the series opener Friday night at CarShield Field.
The win over the top team in the Frontier League puts the Rascals back at the .500 mark and have now won five of their past seven games dating back to June 30th.
Josh Silver and company wasted no time getting the offense going against Boomers starter Lars Liguori with three two out hits to take an early 2-0 lead.
Silver got the Rascals first of ten total hits with a single and then came into score on a double and a throwing error. The double was off the bat of Mike Jurgella and he would come into score three pitches later on a RBI single from catcher Josh Ludy.
In the second, Braxton Martinez stroked his team leading eighth home run to extend his club’s lead to 3-0.
On the mound for the Rascals was Reese Gregory and he tossed his fifth quality start of the season while also earning his fifth win.
In total, Gregory lasted six innings and allowed three runs on five hits and struck out six.
The first run Gregory allowed came in the third via a RBI ground out from Zach Weigal to make the score 3-1. The Boomers would never chip further into the lead and would trail by two runs or more the remainder of the night.
A big part of that was due to Rascals left fielder Jimmy Kerrigan, who got his stellar night going in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-run round tripper to give him RBI number 31 and 32 which is good for first on the team.
The long ball put the Rascals up 5-1 and then after the opponent got those two runs back with solo runs in the fifth and the sixth, including a long ball from Boomers catcher Kyle Oddo, the Rascals shut them down from there and would respond with their largest offensive inning of the night.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Boomers opened up the inning with reliever Alex Luna on the mound and a single, an error and a walk loaded the bases with one out for the top of the Rascals order.
Jimmy Kerrigan came through once again and drove in Clint Freeman on a RBI fielder’s choice and then center fielder Brandon Thomas followed that up with a two RBI double off the right field wall to extend the Rascals lead to 7-3.
“I was really happy with our offensive output and our at-bats tonight in general,” manager Steve Brook said. “We were able to score some runs and a lot of them were with two outs (6).”
The Rascals final run came home in the seventh and it was the last of the four RBI night for Kerrigan, a sacrifice fly to score teammate Braxton Martinez.
The four RBI night for Kerrigan follows a four hit game the rookie had on Wednesday night.
Besides his big night, Ludy and Martinez each accounted for two hits and Martinez also scored three runs.
“We took good at-bats as a team all night against their starters as well as their bullpen arms, especially with runners in scoring position,” Kerrigan said.
The Rascals look to continue their winning ways with a series win Saturday night against the Frontier League’s top team.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with southpaw Garrett Harrison on the mound.