The Southern Illinois Miners came into the top of the ninth inning trailing the Joliet Slammers by eight runs, and nearly came all the way back with a tremendous push in the final frame, but ended up on the wrong side of a 10-9 final score at DuPage Medical Group Field.
Joliet grabbed the lead in the second inning on a grand slam home run by Clayton Harp off of Marty Anderson (5-4), then scored three more runs in the third and two additional runs in the fourth inning to build a 9-0 advantage. Southern Illinois' offense, meanwhile, was held to no hits through the first five innings by Joliet starter Tyler Jones (2-2) before they got on the board and in the hit column on an RBI double by Ryan Stacy in the top of the sixth, making the score 9-1.
The Miners then loaded the bases in the seventh inning with one out on two hit batters and a walk to chase Jones, and Kirvin Moesquit brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it a 9-2 game. In the bottom of the eighth, a Riley Krane solo home run against Kyle Davis made the score 10-2, setting up the incredible final inning against Slammers reliever Matt Burleton.
Davis led off with an infield single and Taylor Sparks lined another single to left field, extending their hit streaks to 15 and 10 in a row, respectively. A rocket double by Arturo Nieto to center field then made the score 10-3, scoring pinch-runner Andy Cosgrove from second base. After a strikeout, Moesquit then tripled in two more runs to make the score 10-5. Stacy followed with his second RBI double of the game for a 10-6 deficit, and Yeltsin Gudino smacked a double of his own to plate him and make the score 10-7, extending his own hit streak to 12 in a row, and chasing Burleton from the game.
The Miners were still not done. The Slammers brought in Mario Samuel, and after another strikeout for the second out of the inning, Jamey Smart lined an RBI double down the right field line to make it 10-8 and bring the tying run to the plate. Cosgrove then hit a fly ball to left field that dropped to the turf between the defense, scoring Smart and making it 10-9. Unfortunately, that is where the rally would end, as Sparks flew out to left field to end the game with the tying run at first base.
Stacy finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and RBIs off the bench, while Moesquit drove in a season-high three runs and also scored two others for the Miners to lead the charge. Cosgrove, Nieto, Smart and Gudino each had a run scored and RBI in the big ninth inning as well, as the Miners will look to ride the momentum into the middle game of the series on Saturday, August 17, at 6:05 p.m. Frank Moscatiello will make the start for Southern Illinois against Joliet's Kit Fowler.
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.