09/09/2010 8:51 PM -
Right-hander Mike Rocco (1-0, pictured) held the Joliet JackHammers (0-2) scoreless through eight innings as the Kansas City T-Bones (2-0) earned a 3-1 victory in game two of the best-of-five Northern League semifinals to put them one win from advancing to the 2010 Northern League championship series.
Kansas City scored the only two runs they would need against left-hander Devin Anderson (0-1) in the first inning to gain an early 2-0 advantage. The first three T-Bones hit safely to begin the frame, with Gabriel Martinez driving in the first run on an RBI single. Jacob Blackwood then scored the second tally when Ray Sadler grounded into a double play for the first two outs of the inning.
Including the double play, Anderson retired 13 straight batters before hitting Rico Washington with a pitch with one out in the fifth. Anderson didn’t allow another hit until Sadler began the seventh with a double and later scored on an RBI single by Dwayne White.
Anderson left with two outs in the seventh having allowed three runs on five hits in the loss.
Rocco scattered eight hits over eight scoreless frames for Kansas City, facing the minimum in four of those eight innings before surrendering consecutive singles to begin the bottom of the ninth. Matt Perisho took over and induced two quick outs with a popout and strikeout before an RBI double by Josh Flores gave Joliet their first run of the series and capped the score at 3-1. Perisho hit the next batter to load the bases before striking out Kevin Rios to secure the game and earn his first save of the postseason.
Rocco was charged with the lone run on 10 total hits, earning the victory after striking out six in eight-plus innings. It was Rocco’s first appearance against the JackHammers since being traded to Kansas City from Joliet for pitcher Erik Hamren on August 22 this season.
The series now heads to CommunityAmerica Ballpark as the T-Bones look to left-hander Reid Santos (7-5, 5.10) to complete the sweep against left-hander Todd Privett (9-5, 4.06) and Joliet in game three Friday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5618. If you can’t make it to the ballpark, you can catch all the action online at www.tbonesbaseball.com or on radio at KXTR 1660 AM.