Breaking News Bar

Worst season in Miners history ends with a win

updated: 9/5/2017 2:16 PM

O'FALLON, Mo. -- It wasn't a championship, but at least the last game was a victory.

The worst season in the 11-year history of the Southern Illinois Miners ended Sunday night with a 2-0 shutout of the rival River City Rascals at CarShield Field.

The Miners finished with a 39-57 record, the first losing season in team history and the lowest winning percentage (.406) since going 49-47 in the inaugural 2007 season (.510). That mark was 22 games behind Florence in the Frontier League's West Division standings.

Southern Illinois also did not have a player named to the league's postseason all-star team for the first time in team history.

But on a positive note, the Miners finished second in the league in attendance. According to the league's Pointstreak statistics page, Southern Illinois averaged 3,294 fans over its 46 home games (a total of 151,521 tickets sold) and that was only behind Schaumburg's average of 3,418.

For the record, Gateway was third at 3,087 fans per game and Traverse City was fourth at 2,717. And those teams, Gateway and Traverse City, were the only teams in the Frontier League with worse records than the Miners this season.

It was fitting that the season ended for both the Miners and Rascals against each other with neither team heading to the postseason. They've faced each other in the playoffs four times (2010, 2011, 2015 and 2016) with the Rascals winning each time.

On another positive note, the Miners can say they won series against Evansville, Schaumburg and Florence this season -- three of the four postseason qualifiers -- but for clarity's sake, they did also lose series to all three teams and went 1-5 against Washington, the fourth postseason entry.

As for Sunday's finale, Austin Dubsky made the start for the Miners and took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. He allowed just one baserunner via a walk in the first six innings and had the no-hit bid broken up in the eighth when Clint Freeman hit a single to right field -- and was thrown out at second base by Nolan Earley on the play.

Dubsky had six strikeouts and three walks in 7-1/3 innings. Kyle Grana and John Werner finished up, with Werner's work collecting his 22nd save to set the final number for the franchise season record he overtook earlier.

A pair of players making their last appearance with the Miners due to age rules helped score the two runs. Craig Massey led off the game with a single and scored on a hit by Ryan Lashley for the first. Massey and Romeo Cortina both singled with two outs in the fifth and Earley drove in the second run with his own base hit.

River City won Friday's series opener, 9-4, after jumping out to a four-run lead. The Miners were shut out 6-0 in Saturday's game as River City's Zeb Sneed pitched seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. London Lindley had two of the Miners' six hits.