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PRESS BOX

Twice as Nice, Pearson Delivers 6-4 Victory

07/05/2006 11:48 PM - JOLIET, Ill. – Eddie Pearson clubbed a game-tying homer in the ninth inning then came through again with a three-run shot in the thirteenth to power the Kansas City T-Bones (21-23) to a 6-4, extra-innings victory Wednesday evening over the Joliet JackHammers (14-30) at Silver Cross Field.

Trailing 3-2 and down to their final two outs in the ballgame, the T-Bones pulled even on Pearson’s first long ball of the night- a line drive off reliever Amad Stephens that barely cleared the wall in right-center.

Still deadlocked four innings later, Greg Jacobs was hit by a Victor Kleine (0-1) pitch leading off the top of the thirteenth, and Charles Peterson followed with a four-pitch walk. Pearson responded with his 11th homer of the season- a towering blast to right field that gave the T-Bones a 6-3 advantage.

Byron Embry (2-2), who fanned six JackHammers in a career-high five innings of relief, gave up a solo shot to Bryan Drobiak and a single to Bubba Smith to start the bottom of the thirteenth, but coaxed Maikel Jova to line into a double-play and got Will Henderson on a pop-up to first to close out the hard-earned victory.

Joliet grabbed the lead in the fourth and appeared to be on their way to evening the series at a game apiece, as starting pitcher Luis Villarreal held the T-Bones in check for most of the game. The JackHammers scored first on Jova’s run-scoring fielder’s choice that brought home John Lackaff. Jova also plated the first of the JackHammers’ two runs in the sixth inning with an RBI double, then scored on Henderson’s single to right field, giving Joliet a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead behind Villarreal.

The T-Bones’ late rally spoiled a brilliant outing by Villarreal , who allowed just one hit- a one-out double by Jacobs in the top of the first- through the game’s first seven innings.

But in the top of the eighth, Craig Hurba resuscitated the T-Bones offense with a lead-off homer and J.D. Foust burned his former club with an RBI double to slice the margin to 3-2 and set the stage for Pearson’s game-saving heroics.

The T-Bones will go for the series sweep Thursday afternoon, concluding their three-game set with the JackHammers at 12:05 p.m. LHP Buddy Blair (1-6, 7.08) will take the mound for Kansas City to oppose Joliet RHP David Manning (0-1, 8.64). Be sure to catch all the action on “The Light” 1030 AM, or live on the internet at www.tbonesbaseball.com.

Game Notes: Greg Jacobs and Jonathan Krysa were named Rawlings Northern League Player and Pitcher of the Month for June, the league office announced Wednesday…With his six-inning effort Wednesday Greg Bicknell saw his streak of four straight starts of 8+ innings come to an end...James Morrison turned in two shutout innings in relief of Bicknell on Wednesday- his fourth straight scoreless relief outing of two or more innings.