The Southern Illinois Miners came back from an early deficit and took the lead on a home run at 4-3 in the fifth inning, but were unable to hold it before the Florence Y'alls scored four runs in the final two innings for an 8-5 decision at Rent One Park on Tuesday night.
Chase Cunningham was able to limit the early damage to a solo home run by Chad Sedio in the first inning and a sacrifice fly by Andres Rios in the second before the Miners would get on the board in the bottom of the second inning against Johnathon Tripp, with Arturo Nieto's RBI single with two outs scoring Anthony Brocato and making the score 2-1 Florence.
Then, after a Luis Pintor sacrifice fly made the score 3-1 in the top of the fifth, Southern Illinois would take the lead in dramatic fashion in the bottom half, with Yeltsin Gudiño leading off with a double, and going to third base on Bryant Flete's subsequent double to set up Nolan Earley at the plate. The Miners' veteran outfielder then launched the first pitch he saw from Tripp into the Southern Illinois bullpen for a three-run, go-ahead home run, making the score 4-3 Miners.
But that lead would not hold. In the next half-inning, Florence tied the score on Harrison DiNicola's RBI single at 4-4, and it would remain tied until the top of the eighth, when the Y'alls would take the lead for good by scoring three runs off Mitchell Walters (0-2) with an RBI single by Rios and a two-run, two-out single by Crane making it 7-4. Both teams would score single runs in the ninth for the final margin as the Miners saw their win streak snapped at three in a row.
Flete tied a Miners record in the contest with three doubles in going 3-for-5 to lead the offense from the leadoff spot, while Jamey Smart reached base three times in the game, but it was not enough as the Miners fell to 2.5 games behind Florence in the West Division standings, though they maintained their deficit behind Evansville at 3.0 games back as the Otters lost to Joliet at Bosse Field.
The Miners will look to bounce back in the middle game of the series on Wednesday, September 8, at 7:05 p.m. Michael Austin will pitch for the Miners against Florence's Jared Cheek 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. In addition, they have sent 60 players to MLB organizations in their 14 years of operation. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.