The Southern Illinois Miners lost to the Evansville Otters for the third night in a row at Bosse Field, this time 7-5 in a back-and-forth contest.
The Miners scored a two out first run of the game on an RBI single by Nolan Earley in the first inning at 1-0, then took a 2-1 lead after Evansville tied the score in the bottom of the first inning thanks to an infield hit by Joe Duncan. Miners starter Jordan Brink struck out five in the first two innings, and held the line until the bottom of the fourth, when the Otters tied the game on a sac fly by Taylor Lane, then took the lead at 3-2 on a two-out RBI hit by David Cronin.
After Southern Illinois' bats were held quiet by Austin Nicely following the early offense, the Miners were able to break through for two runs to take the lead in the top of the sixth inning- Romeo Cortina led off with a double and moved to third base on a flyout to right field. Anthony Critelli then doubled to right-center field to knot the score at 3-3 and force a pitching change.
After two walks loaded the bases, it was Duncan who reached base on a fielder's choice to third that brought home the go-ahead run and made the score 4-3 Miners. But it would not last- a leadoff walk by Brink forced him from the game, and with two outs and the bases loaded later in the inning, J.J. Gould broke his bat on the pitch by Kyle Tinius, but the ball found space in the outfield to make it a 5-4 Evansville lead.
Again, Southern Illinois would not quit- after loading the bases on walks but failing to score in the seventh, back-to-back walks by Jake Willsey and Max Dutto preceded a sacrifice bunt by Duncan in the top of the eighth inning, which reliever Alex Phillips threw high to first base, allowing Willsey to score the tying run to make it 5-5.
Southern Illinois failed to score any more runs that inning, though, and in the bottom half, Evansville plated two runs on a single by Cronin after a single, sacrifice bunt and throwing error, plus a balk on Zach Hartman. That made it 7-5, and Phillips struck out the side in the ninth, sending the Miners to their fifth loss in their last six games overall as they finished 0-6 at Bosse Field in 2018.
Duncan finished 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored to lead the Miners' offensive charge, but it was not enough as the Otters walked away with a sweep. Southern Illinois returns home next for a pivotal five-game series against the Normal CornBelters beginning on Friday night, August 24th, at Rent One Park. Steven Ridings will pitch for the Miners as they look to rebound against Normal's Zack Kirby at 7:05 p.m.
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.