07/10/2020 8:53 PM -
Midlothian, Ill. — July 10, 2020 — An elated Joliet Generals manager Matt Vitulli greeted his team following a run-rule victory over the first place Southland Vikings on Friday afternoon.
Vitulli mentioned it was the first time his team had every aspect of the game come together, which was good enough for the Generals to earn their first victory of the season by a score of 14-3 in seven innings.
Before the game, the Generals added four names to the 2020 roster. Three of them played, all making a positive impact on Friday's matchup
A 1-2 day at the plate doesn't tell the full story for new Generals shortstop Alec Gonzalez (Tennessee/Flossmoor, Ill.). Gonzalez walked each of his first three plate appearances, scoring three runs. The soon-to-be Volunteer hit a hard line drive to center in his next at-bat, then finished the game with a long double to left-centerfield which proved to be the run-rule sealing RBI.
"I haven't seen live pitching since October," Gonzalez said. "My mentality at the plate was to be aggressive and look for something in the zone. I took advantage of fastballs and laid off the offspeed pitches out of the zone."
Another brand new General, right-handed pitcher Matt Donahue (Roosevelt/Palos Heights, Ill.), threw two perfect innings in relief of starter Nick Hamilton (Carthage / Munster, Ind.).
"I was just trying to pound the strike zone early in the count," Donahue said. "I tried to get ahead with the fastball, mess around with curve and slider. It was good to get back out there and get my feet wet again."
Donahue finished with two strikeouts on the day. Hamilton earned the win by throwing five strong innings, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out eight Vikings.
The Generals fell behind 3-2 after the third inning, but the bats exploded in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring five runs in each frame.
Vitulli said his team can turn Friday's win into a winning streak by, "building off of that momentum. Now the guys know what it feels like to win, what it feels like to put a few hits together. It's huge for the guys to feel that win. Hopefully, we keep it going."
The Generals will look for their second win in a row as they take on the DuPage County Hounds at Dyer Central Park in Dyer, Ind. at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Alex Coil and Sam Oppenheim will have the call on the Generals Broadcasting Network on the Joliet Generals Facebook page.