The Southern Illinois Miners beat the Evansville Otters on Saturday night at Bosse Field to win their 700th game as a franchise, becoming the fastest team in Frontier League history to that milestone and clinching the weekend series with their third victory in a row and seventh in their last nine games overall.
The game was scoreless through the first five innings, with Steven Ridings and Cody Thompson (3-2) combining to equal Otters starter Jake Welch (6-4), who had a perfect game going by retiring the first 15 batters he faced. But that changed in the sixth, as Kyle Davis singled to break up the perfect game leading off in the frame. Two batters later, with one out, Omar Obregon cashed in his first Miners RBI as he singled to drive in Davis and put Southern Illinois ahead 1-0. Yeltsin Gudino then laid down a bunt with runners at first and third base, and after Welch threw to first for the out, Joe Duncan raced home and beat the tag by Mike Rizzitello to double the lead to 2-0.
In the seventh inning, the Miners would double their lead- Jamey Smart led off with a double, went to third on Aturo Nieto's single, and came home on another single by Davis for a 3-0 lead. Two batters later, Ryan Stacy reached on an RBI fielder's choice, putting Southern Illinois up 4-0.
Thanks to stout relief from the bullpen, that lead stood up- the Otters broke up the shutout on a double play with a runner at third base in the ninth inning, but Southern Illinois clinched the series victory in Evansville by taking the first two games, their first at Bosse Field since 2015. Davis led the way for the club offensively, enjoying a 3-for-4 game with a double, run scored and RBI as the Miners remained just two games back of a playoff spot in the standings and reached the 700-win milestone faster than any team in league history by 41 games. They are now one of five franchises in the 27-year history of the Frontier League with 700 or more victories.
The Miners will now go for a series sweep and a fourth-straight win in the Sunday finale of the series on August 4, sending Chase Cunningham to the mound against the Otters' Brandyn Sittinger at 12:35 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.