Miners Blast Past Slammers To Take Series

Miners Blast Past Slammers To Take Series

The Southern Illinois Miners busted out their bats on Thursday night in the rubber game of their three game series against the Joliet Slammers, amassing 12 hits as a club and pulling away from the visitors late for a 9-3 victory at Rent One Park to win their second straight series overall and move within two and a half games of the second wild card playoff spot in the Frontier League.

The game started out as a pitcher's duel between Ryan McAuliffe and Joliet right-hander Daren Osby. McAuliffe (3-3) allowed just two base-runners in his first five innings of work on the night, while Osby (1-5) permitted just two hits himself in the first three innings. The Miners cracked the ice on the scoreboard in the fourth, when after Gianfranco Wawoe led off with a double and Jamey Smart singled him to third, Kyle Davis made it 1-0 Miners with a sacrifice fly.

Southern Illinois would expand the lead in the following inning, when Taylor Sparks led off with a triple to center field and was driven in on an RBI double two batters later by Ryan Stacy, making it 2-0. After a Yeltsin Gudino single, Anthony Brocato reached on an infield hit to bring in another run and make it 3-0. Wawoe then hit into a fielder's choice, with the Slammers unable to record an out on the play, to push the lead out to 4-0.

Joliet got three runs back in the top of the sixth to slice the deficit to one run, but the Miners would not be denied. After Arturo Nieto walked with one out in the bottom of the frame, Sparks lined an RBI double off the right-center field wall for a 5-3 lead. Joe Duncan followed suit with an RBI single to make the score 6-3, and chase Osby from the game. Later, in the eighth inning with two men aboard, Sparks crushed a three-run home run to cap the scoring for Southern Illinois and turn the game into a rout.

McAuliffe got the win on the mound, tossing six innings and allowing just four hits for his second consecutive victory, while every Miners starter had at least one hit in the game, led by Sparks' 3-for-4 night with three runs scored and four RBIs. The third baseman finished a single away from the cycle as the Miners out-hit the Slammers 12 to five (with five extra-base hits) to earn the series victory.

The Miners will next head on the road to Evansville to open up a three-game series against the Otters on Friday, August 2, at Bosse Field. Cole Cook will take the ball for the Miners on the mound in the series opener opposite Evansville's Tyler Beardsley, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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.