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Sixth-Inning Rally Dooms T-Bones

07/06/2006 3:41 PM - JOLIET, Ill. – The Joliet JackHammers (15-30) used a five-run sixth-inning to claim a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones (21-24) and salvage the final game of their three-game series Thursday afternoon at Silver Cross Field.

Both starters were in control early, as Joliet’s David Manning and KC’s Buddy Blair each held their opponents scoreless through their first five innings before the T-Bones plated the first run of the game on Greg Jacobs’ two-out RBI single in the top of the sixth.

Joliet answered quickly and decisively, scoring five times in their half of the inning to seize control of the contest. After Bubba Smith walked and Mikael Jova reached base via an error against Blair to start the inning, Will Henderson’s RBI double brought Joliet’s first run home and tied the ballgame at 1-1. Two batters later Bryan Vickers delivered a two-run double to give the JackHammers the lead for good. Gary Harris added a run-scoring single and John Lackaff used a squeeze bunt to drive in Joliet’s final run of the frame off new T-Bone addition Clint Gilliland, who rebounded with a scoreless seventh inning in his professional debut.

Having rallied late to tie and ultimately win Wednesday’s contest in 13 innings, Kansas City still had a few ninth-inning fireworks left for Joliet. After Charles Peterson’s lead-off infield single, Eddie Pearson trimmed the margin to 5-3 with his Northern League-leading 12th round-tripper of the season and second ninth-inning homer in as many days.

The T-Bones would get no closer, as JackHammers closer Amad Stephens retired the next three batters in order to seal the win and earn his eighth save of the season.

Blair (1-7) suffered the defeat for Kansas City, surrendering five runs (three earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Manning earned his first win of the season after allowing just one run on three hits in his six innings of work.

The T-Bones return home Friday evening for a 7:05 p.m. contest with the East Division’s first-half champions, the Schaumburg Flyers. The Edmonton Cracker-Cats will also pay a visit to CommunityAmerica Ballpark next week for a three-game set to wrap up the T-Bones’ six-game homestand.