The Southern Illinois Miners could not hold a late advantage for the second game in a row, as the Evansville Otters used four walks to score three times in the ninth inning for a 6-4 result at Rent One Park.
The Miners got on the board right away in the first inning, as following a two-out error by David Cronin, Kyle Davis singled before Taylor Sparks came up with an RBI double to make it 1-0, extending his hit streak to 13 in a row. That lead lasted until the fourth inning, when a walk and two straight singles culminated with Dakota Phillips' RBI hit to make it a 1-1 game.
The Otters then took a 2-1 lead on a solo home run by Ryan Long leading off the sixth, but that was all Chase Cunningham allowed in seven strong innings, striking out five in the contest and leaving in line for the win when the Miners rallied back. In the bottom of the sixth, Yeltsin Gudino singled and Jamey Smart was hit by a pitch to set up Davis, who drilled a go-ahead, two-run double to left-center field to make it 3-2 Southern Illinois. In the seventh inning, it was Andy Cosgroveleading off with a double to left field and later scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jarrod Watkins, putting the Miners ahead 4-2.
But the late innings belonged to the opposition. A leadoff walk in the eighth ended up scoring on Taylor Lane's floating double to right field to make it 4-3. Heath Renz (1-1) came in and struck out J.J. Gould to strand the bases loaded in the frame and keep Southern Illinois in front, but four consecutive walks leading off the ninth forced in the tying run, and Phillips sacrifice fly made it a 5-4 Otters lead. A subsequent two-out, RBI single by Lane completed the scoring, as the Miners suffered their fourth loss in their last five games, dropping to two games back of the final wild card playoff spot in the Frontier League standings.
The Miners will try and rebound on Wednesday, August 21, at 6:35 in the middle game of the series against the Otters, with Andrew Bernstein getting the starting nod opposite Evansville's Jake Welch at Rent One Park.
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.