Slammers Stun NERDS Herd with Late Comeback, Win 6-5

by Staff Writer


Joliet Slammers Contact:

Kaitlyn Altmann - Marketing and Promotions Manager



By Jimmy Lynn

JOLIET, IL — The Slammers earned a tight victory in Sunday night’s 2020 City of Champions Cup contest, completing a dramatic comeback to win 6-5 against the NERDS Herd. The NERDS Herd maintained the lead until late into the game, but the Slammers pushed across five of their six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to stun the NERDS Herd and steal their twelfth win of the season. 

Shortstop Zach Kirtley was instrumental in the Slammers’ victory, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer and an RBI single. His solo shot in the fourth inning represented the Slammers only offense through the first six innings of the game, while his RBI single in the seventh inning decreased the Slammers deficit to one run. Kirtley leads all City of Champions Cup batters with 18 RBIs.

Slammers right fielder Noah Vaughan was 2-for-4 with a homer as well. His eighth-inning solo homer tied the game up at five runs apiece. The blast was Vaughan’s fifth of the summer.

Center fielder Jacob Crum had a big day at the plate for the Slammers, too, going 2-for-4 with two doubles. His seventh-inning double plated two runs for the Slammers, inciting the Slammers’ late rally.

The go-ahead run in the eighth inning for the Slammers was scored by designated hitter Tyler Plantier. He reached base on a walk and advanced to third on a single by left fielder Zac Taylor. Taylor distracted the defense with a smart baserunning play, allowing the NERDS Herd’s defense to catch him in a rundown between first and second base while Plantier took off to score the contest’s deciding run. Plantier walked twice and scored twice in total.

The Slammers bullpen was crucial in the narrow victory as well. Jace Vines, Mario Samuel, and Drew Peden each pitched scoreless innings after starter Cam Aufderheide exited the game, and Trevor Charpie earned his fourth save of the season with a two-strikeout ninth inning. Peden earned the win since the Slammers took the lead in the eighth after he pitched the top of the frame.

NERDS Herd shortstop Hayden Cantrelle had a productive day at the plate despite the loss, going 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Right fielder Kevin Watson Jr. also contributed offensively in the losing effort, blasting a solo shot in the third inning for his team-leading third home run of the summer. Third baseman Brylie Ware pitched in a hit and two RBIs in the loss.

Aufderheide pitched five innings for the Slammers, allowing five runs on nine hits. He struck out four.

Scott Firth had an effective start on the mound for the NERDS Herd, pitching five strong innings. He struck out six while allowing just one run on four hits and a walk, but the NERDS Herd’s bullpen could not preserve the lead.

With the victory, the first-place Slammers improved to 12-4 in the City of Champions Cup, while the fourth-place NERDS Herd fell to 3-13. The Slammers hope to stay hot on Tuesday night against the Joliet Tully Monsters, while the NERDS Herd will look to bounce back in their matchup with the Chicago Deep Dish on Thursday night.


Game Recap:




Left on Base

Joliet Slammers





WP - Drew Peden (1-1)

LP - Jake Binder (0-1)

SV - Trevor Charpie (4)

Tonight's Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the Game: Zach Kirtley (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R)


About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois.  They will play their 10th season in 2020.  Visit the Slammers online at or call the office at 815-722-2287 for more information.  Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers and Instagram at @jolietslammersofficial. 

-- Joliet Slammers