The Southern Illinois Miners had an early lead on Thursday night in Marion against the Evansville Otters, but could not hold it, as the visitors scored two in the sixth to tie it and then used an error in the ninth to record a 4-3 result, sweeping the series at Rent One Park and handing the Miners a fourth consecutive defeat.
In the bottom of the first inning, Otters starter Brandyn Sittinger walked Jamey Smart with two outs, bringing up Kyle Davis, who blasted his team-leading 14th home run of the season on the next pitch for a quick 2-0 lead. Evansville got a run back thanks to a Miners error in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Rob Calabrese, with the run unearned against Marty Anderson. But the Miners responded in the bottom half, with Joe Duncan's two-out, RBI single making the score 3-1.
It would stay 3-1 until the top of the sixth inning- Calabrese led off with a solo home run to make it 3-2, and after a single, double, and walk, the Otters had the bases loaded with none out. Elijah MacNamee's sacrifice fly tied the score at 3-3, but Anderson and Heath Renz were able to keep the score tied. Both teams then got their leadoff man on base in the seventh and eighth innings, but failed to score the lead run.
In the ninth, Tanner Wetrich led off with a single and was sacrificed to second base. Wetrich then stole third base on the next pitch, and came home when the ball was thrown down the left field line for an error, making the score 4-3. Southern Illinois went down in order in the bottom half of the ninth, suffering the series sweep against their rivals at home.
Davis finished 2-for-4 with a home run, double and two RBIs, while Smart walked twice and also scored two runs, but it was not enough as the Miners dropped their sixth game in their last seven, remaining 3.5 games back of a playoff spot. They will look to rebound on the road, heading to Washington, Pennsylvania for a three-game, weekend series against the Wild Things. Ryan McAuliffe will start the series opener against Washington's Josh Lapiana, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 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.