Late Comeback Pushes Joliet Above .500

Generals outfielder Nick McAlister stole three bases tonight against the Hounds
07/10/2019 10:29 PM -

-By Sam Oppenheim

Joliet, Ill. - July 10, 2019 - In the past three weeks, the Joliet Generals have had many high-scoring contests. In fact, the Generals were 4-0 in that stretch when they scored ten or more runs entering tonight’s game. 

That record is now 5-0.

After giving up six runs in the top of the seventh, the Generals answered with two in the bottom of the inning and won 12-11 over the DuPage County Hounds. 

This contest featured two starting pitchers who had faced each other back on June 19. In that outing, Joliet right hander Jake Ostrowski (Joliet JC / Lockport, Ill.) threw a complete game, allowing just one run against the Hounds and his counterpart Jason Jennerjohn.

However, tonight was a very different story. Both pitchers managed to keep the game scoreless after two, but ran into problems eventually. 

In the third, Ostrowski got the first two batters out of the inning. After 2 ⅔ innings, Ostrowski had not given up a hit. From there, the next five DuPage hitters reached base and put four runs on the board. Ostrowski hit his pitch limit and lasted three innings for Joliet.

Meanwhile, Jennerjohn surrendered two runs in the bottom of the inning. Then, the Generals offense came alive. Four walks and two errors, complemented by a Danny Borgstrom (University of Evansville / Morris, Ill.) triple and a double off the bat of Connor Olson (Elgin, Ill. / Wheaton, Ill.) resulted in a crooked eight on the scoreboard. 

“Our approaches have been phenomenal,” Generals manager Matt Vitulli said. “We’ve haven’t been giving any easy outs.”

That scoring burst allowed Joliet to take a 10-5 lead into the seventh inning. But like most games between the Generals and Hounds, this one was close to the finish. 

DuPage scored six runs in the top of the seventh to stun Joliet, and grab an 11-10 lead. 

In the bottom of the inning, the Generals had the answer through superb baserunning. Daniel Fierro (San Diego Mesa CC / Braidwood, Ill.) led off the inning with a walk. Thanks to three wild pitches from Hounds reliever Malik Binns, Fierro made all the way from first to home by himself to tie the game at 11. 

Then, Nick McAlister (Southern Illinois / Homewood, Ill.) took a five-pitch walk. It was one of four walks on the night for McAlister. Once McAlister reaches first, he’s usually not there for very long. Despite only playing in eight games, he leads the team with 10 stolen bases. In this instance, McAlister stole second and third to put himself 90 feet away from scoring with two outs. And in crunch time, Danny Borgstrom delivered, doubling to left field to bring in the go-ahead run. The late game comeback is nothing new for this team.

“We’re a gritty team,” said Vitulli. “All of them trust their approach and their abilities in any situation.”

The 12-11 win certainly would not have happened without Johnluca Moschetto (Carthage College / LaGrange Highlands, Ill.) stepping up in relief. He entered the game with one out in the seventh and allowed two hits. However, he was responsible for none of the runs. In his 2 ⅔ innings, Moschetto threw 22 of his 31 pitches for a strike. With less than a month until the MCL Playoffs begin, Vitulli sees consistent pitching as a key to their success.

“Our bats are there, it’s just a matter of whether or not our pitching and defense will be there,” said Vitulli.

With the win, the Generals have won seven of their last nine games. They also move above .500 to 10-9 on the summer. 

Two more games remain for Joliet before the All-Star break. Up next, the Generals play host to the Bobcats tomorrow night. First pitch is at 5 p.m. from Wayne King Field. The game will be broadcasted on the Joliet Generals Broadcasting Network.