The Southern Illinois Miners got an early advantage, but three big offensive frames by the Florence Freedom sent them to a 15-4 defeat on Thursday at UC Health Stadium.
It was the Miners who struck first in the first inning- Joe Duncan led off with a walk against Florence starter Mike Castellani and moved to second, then third base on singles by Anthony Jimenez and Stephen Lohr. A fielder's choice hit into by Gianfranco Wawoe brought Duncan in and made the score 1-0.
But the lead would not last- a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning led eventually to an RBI groundout by Caleb Lopes to tie the score at one. Then the Freedom piled on with five runs in the third inning, working a leadoff walk and eventually sending ten batters to the plate against Austin Dubsky to build a 6-1 lead.
That lead held until the sixth inning, when the Freedom batted around again and scored four runs with two outs against Andrew Bernstein for a 10-1 advantage. Southern Illinois would get three of the four runs back in the top of the seventh inning on a two-run double from Cletis Avery and an RBI single by Jimenez to get within 10-4.
But the Freedom would again bat around in the seventh inning against Tyler Luneke, scoring five more runs in the frame for the final 15-4 score. As a team, the Miners had 13 hits offensively, including a 3-for-5 game from Jimenez and two-hit days for Duncan, Kyle Davis and Andy Cosgrove, but could not keep the home team's offense down in dropping three of the four games in the midweek series.
The Miners return home to Rent One Park for their final series before the all-star break begins, taking on the Gateway Grizzlies on Friday, July 5, at 7:05 p.m. to kick off the last weekend of the first half. Marty Anderson will pitch for the Miners against Gateway right-hander Chris Carden.
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.southernillinoisminers.com.