The Southern Illinois Miners handed the Evansville Otters an early lead on Wednesday night in Marion, and could not dig out of the hole in a 5-2 loss at Rent One Park, dropping the series by losing the first two games.
In the first inning, a two-out RBI double by Elijah MacNamee put the Otters up 1-0, and then the visitors scored a trio of two-out runs in the second inning to vault in front 4-0. That was all Andrew Bernstein (2-2) allowed in the contest, battling through baserunners to finish a career-high six innings and strike out a career-best five while allowing only three earned runs for the "quality start."
But the Miners' bats could not rev into gear despite making Evansville starter Jake Welch (7-5) work for his outs. In the fourth inning, a leadoff single by Jamey Smart came around to score when, later in the frame, Joe Duncan drew a bases-loaded walk off Welch to cut the deficit to 4-1 and put the tying runs on base. But they could get no closer in that instance.
In the top of the seventh, with the bases loaded, a two-out, two-strike passed ball allowed Taylor Lane to score and make it 5-1. Southern Illinois got that run back in the bottom half when Yeltsin Gudino struck a two-out RBI single to left field to make it 5-2, extending his personal hit streak to 16 games in a row. But in that frame the Miners stranded the bases loaded, with the tying runs left on base for the second time, and would not get another chance to score in suffering their fifth loss in the last six games.
The Miners will look to salvage the series finale on Thursday night, August 22, at 6:35 p.m., with Southern Illinois hosting their fourth-annual "Stand Up For Blue" night, honoring local law enforcement officials throughout the evening.
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.