O’FALLON, MO. – An evening after making his River City Rascals debut, former Gateway Grizzlies all-star first baseman Logan Parker made his presence felt for the first time for his new club, launching a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to lead River City to a 6-1 win at T.R. Hughes Ballpark over the visiting Joliet Slammers.
Parker, who was hitting .355, with 11 homers and 61 RBIs for the Grizzlies this season before Thursday’s trade, played a helpful role in River City’s 4-1 win over Windy City in his debut.
But he was the man of the match on Friday, after blasting a no-doubt, moonshot dinger over the wall in rightfield that turned a 2-0 Rascals lead into a 5-0 home team bulge.
And with the way Rascals ace Josh Lowey was pitching on Friday, there seemed little chance Joliet would mount a comeback.
Lowey, a 2011 Frontier League All-Star like Parker, was in fantastic form throughout the night, shutting out the Slammers through five innings, and only allowing just four hits and one run in his seven innings of work.
That one run came in the sixth inning, on Slammers’ second baseman Hector Pellot’s third homer of the season, and was the only blemish on the night for Lowey, who improved his 2011 season record to 7-2.
Joliet’s Brian Fowler took the loss, and fell to 1-3 in eight starts with the Slammers this season, after being traded in June from the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League, where he went 3-0 in six appearances.
The victory improved River City’s Frontier League-best record to 52-17, and they remained nine games ahead of the second-place Southern Illinois Miners in the West Division pennant race.
Joliet, 40-29 this season and the first place team in the East, didn’t lose any ground either, as second place Traverse City also lost on Friday night, allowing the Slammers to stay 4 1/2 games in front in that race.
The two clubs will go at it again on Saturday at T.R. Hughes, with River City looking for its sixth straight win, and 20th in 24 games since the July All-Star break.
Former Rascal Ryne Miller (0-2) will start on the mound for Joliet, while lefty Zach Robertson (6-2) will take the hill for River City.
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Other Frontier League scores on Friday night:
Windy City ThunderBolts 1 Gateway Grizzlies 9
Normal CornBelters 6 Rockford RiverHawks 4
Southern Illinois Miners 5 Traverse City Beach Bums 1
Washington Wild Things 0 Florence Freedom 3
Evansville Otters 2 Lake Erie Crushers 13