08/03/2010 9:25 PM -
The Kansas City T-Bones (40-26) fell 7-6 to the Joliet JackHammers (35-31) in front of 5,122 fans Tuesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Joliet opened the scoring in the first off Kansas City starter Ryan Knippschild (7-5) with a solo home run by Jonathan Wyatt and plated another run on an error later in the inning to take a 2-0 lead. The JackHammers pushed their lead to 4-0 in the third on a two-run home run by Freddie Thon.
An RBI double by Keith Hernandez off Joliet starter Todd Privett put Kansas City on the board in the bottom of the third, and an RBI single by Jacob Blackwood later in the frame cut the lead in half, 4-2.
Blackwood’s solo home run in the fifth reduced the deficit to 4-3 before Jim Fasano homered to lead off the sixth, evening the score at four. Privett left following the Fasano home run having allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking one. He did not factor in the decision. Brian Gartley (4-0) entered with two on in the inning and surrendered a run on a wild pitch to give the T-Bones a 5-4 lead.
Knippschild retired the first two batters in the seventh before leaving in favor of Casey Hodges after surrendering a single and a walk. A balk moved both runners into scoring position before Thon connected for a two-run single to give Joliet a 6-5 lead.
Both runs were charged to Knippschild, who allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits, striking out three and walking three in the loss. He remains winless in six career starts against Joliet.
The JackHammers added an insurance run in the eighth, as Joe Billick was caught attempting to steal second but Kevin Rios scampered home before the out was recorded to the push the lead to 7-5.
Hodges left after the eighth, working one and one-thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits. Erik Hamren worked a perfect ninth inning for Kansas City.
Blackwood brought the T-Bones within one with a leadoff home run in the ninth before Kansas City pushed the tying run to third base with two outs against Griffin Bailey. The right-hander then induced a popout to earn his ninth save of the season.
Blackwood finished the game three-for-four with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored. Hernandez went three-for-four with an RBI and two runs scored.
Kansas City sends right-hander Andrew Cruse (8-3, 2.52) to the mound in game two of the three-game set opposite right-hander Rory Shortell (2-5, 5.25) and the JackHammers. First pitch is schedule for 7:05 p.m. Catch all the action online at www.tbonesbaseball.com or on the radio at KXTR 1660 AM.