The Southern Illinois Miners dropped a heartbreaker on Tuesday night at CarShield Field against the River City Rascals, falling 5-4 in 10 innings on a walk-off RBI infield single by Paul Kronenfeld with two outs to snap a three-game winning streak.
The Miners jumped in front in the top of the first inning when with the bases loaded and one out, Romeo Cortina hit an RBI single off the shortstop's glove into left field, which scored two runs when the ball was subsequently mishandled in the outfield by Kevin Suarez, making the score 2-0.
The Miners held that lead until the bottom of the third inning, when J.D. Hearn hit a two-run home run that just cleared the left field wall to tie the game at 2-2. Kronenfeld then came up in the next inning against Miners starter Steven Ridings and put the Rascals in front 4-2 with another two-run home run. After Ridings walked the next batter, however, he concluded his start with nine straight batters retired, allowing Southern Illinois to come back themselves.
Joe Duncan led off the top of the fifth inning with a double, and Kyle Davis singled him in to make it 4-3. After a Chance Shepard double put runners at second and third base, two batters later, a wild pitch by Jackson Sigman brought Davis home and made the score 4-4.
Neither side was able to break through from there as the game remained tied, though River City threatened in the late frames- they had runners at second and third base with no one out in the eighth inning, but Nick Durazo came in from the bullpen and got them out of the jam. After a two-out error by Davis and a single by Ransom LaLonde in the bottom of the ninth put the winning run in scoring position, Zach Hartman struck out Suarez to send the game to extra innings.
In the bottom of the tenth, an error by Max Dutto allowed Hearn to reach base leading off, and Hartman (1-1) hit Trevor Achenbach to put the winning run in scoring position with no one out. Hartman responded by striking out both Clint Freeman and Mike Jurgella to bring up Kronenfeld, and with a full count, he hit a ground ball to the right side that was knocked down by Jake Willsey, but the throw home was not in time to get Hearn as the Rascals walked it off.
The Miners will look to bounce back and even the series on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. back in O'Fallon, with Kurt Heyer taking the mound against River City's Justin Garcia.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's winningest franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.siminers.com.