The Southern Illinois Miners dropped their 2018 season finale on Sunday night to the Gateway Grizzlies by a score of 3-2 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget despite a complete game effort from starter Geno Encina, his third such game of the year.
Gateway scored all of their runs with two outs in the contest, and they grabbed a 1-0 lead on an RBI infield single in the second inning from Mitch Piatnik. After the Miners responded with a run of their own in the fourth on a single by Romeo Cortina, a double by Nolan Earley and an RBI groundout by Kyle Davis to make the score 1-1, Gateway then got two more runs in the bottom of the frame thanks to RBI hits by Brent Sakurai and Trae Santos.
Down 3-1 in the sixth inning, Chance Shepard brought Southern Illinois within a run on a deep solo home run to left field, his team-leading 23rd of the season, which made the score 3-2, but the Miners could not get closer against Gateway starter Max MacNabb (9-9), who struck out 10 batters over eight innings of work to earn the win. Southern Illinois was able to get the tying run on base in the eighth and ninth innings, but stranded that runner both times in losing the rubber match of the weekend series.
Encina (5-8) went the distance in defeat, scattering 10 hits across eight innings of work along with two walks and eight strikeouts, his third complete game of the season as the Miners' 2018 campaign came to a close with a winning record of 48-47, the franchise's 11th winning season in 12 years of operation.
Be sure to follow the Miners online at siminers.com and on social media as they prepare for the 2019 season!
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's most-successful 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.