07/31/2006 10:10 PM - KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Joliet JackHammers (23-41, 7-9 ) were able to stay one step ahead of the Kansas City T-Bones (30-35, 8-9) Monday evening, taking a 4-3 series opening victory before a crowd of 4,537 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
John Lackaff broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI-single off Jonathan Krysa in the top of the eighth inning, and the Joliet bullpen held off the T-Bones offense in check over the final two innings to preserve the 4-3 win.
JackHammers right-hander David Manning (3-4) turned in a solid start, allowing just three runs on 10 hits in seven innings to earn the victory. He can thank the tandem of Derrick Ellison (0.2 IP) and Amad Stephens (who picked up his 13th save) for two scoreless innings to close out the hard-earned victory.
Joliet capitalized on a hit batsman and a pair of walks issued by Krysa to seize a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Chris Brown's two-out double to left that landed just beyond the glove of a diving Zach Norman at third base.
The T-Bones answered promptly in the bottom half of the second, as Craig Hurba belted his 13th home run of the season- a two-out moon shot into the home bullpen- to slice the lead in half.
The JackHammers added to their advantage when Maikel Jova homered to lead-off the fourth, but the T-Bones had another quick response in their half of the inning to keep the deficit at one run. Eddie Pearson walked with one-out, advanced to third on Hurba's base-hit to right-center, then came home on Doug Dreher's infield single to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Chad Sosebee broke an 0-for-25 slump when he delivered his first home run of the season leading off the seventh to tie the game at 3-3. Sosebee later added a ninth-inning single to finish 2-for-4 on the night.
Krysa (8-3) shouldered the loss for Kansas City, completing 7 1/3 innings before yielding to his bullpen following Lackaff's run-scoring single. Lavon Lewis surrendered two hits and a walk in his 1 1/3 innings, while Byron Embry recorded the final out in the top of the ninth.
The T-Bones and JackHammers will square off once again Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, as RHP Larry Robles (3-3, 3.21) will oppose Joliet RHP Eric Fussell (0-1, 3.73).