EVANSVILLE -- The Southern Illinois Miners were trailing the Evansville Otters 3-2 with two outs in the ninth inning, but tied the game on a Yeltsin Gudino single before going ahead for good in extra frames, beating the Otters 5-3 in eleven innings to win their fourth straight game and sweep the series at Bosse Field for the first time since 2009.
The game got off to a fantastic start for the Miners, as Omar Obregon led off the game with a single, and Gudino followed by doubling to right field, with an error on Jack Meggs bringing Obregon in and making it 1-0 Southern Illinois before a single out was recorded.
A sacrifice fly by Gianfranco Wawoe scored Gudino and doubled the lead to 2-0, which held until the bottom of the third inning when the Otters tied the score with a pair of runs against Chase Cunningham.
But thanks to Cunningham, as well as Otters starter Brandyn Sittinger, the game remained 2-2 through the middle innings. Cunningham lasted into the eighth inning in what was his longest start of the season, and departed with 10 strikeouts after allowing a single to David Cronin with one out.
Cronin, however, stole second base immediately, and came home on a Keith Grieshaber RBI single, scoring just ahead of a great throw from Joe Duncan in center field to put Evansville up 3-2.
Down to their last turn at bat, the Miners would rally. In the ninth, with one out, Jarrod Watkins came off the bench to pinch hit, and doubled to right field, putting the tying run in scoring position.
After Taylor Wright struck out Obregon, with Southern Illinois down to their final out, Gudino swung at the first pitch and lofted a game-tying single over a leaping Cronin into right-center field, making the score 3-3. Jordan Brink (2-3) then sent the game to extras with a scoreless bottom of the ninth, and would also work a scoreless tenth inning, setting up the Miners' game-winning push.
With the international tiebreaker in effect in the eleventh, Watkins reached on a leadoff bunt single to move the automatic runner, Duncan, to third base.
Obregon then walked to load the bases, and Gudino came up huge again with an RBI single to left field for a 4-3 advantage. Andy Cosgrove would then hit a sacrifice fly to put the Miners up 5-3 in the frame, and in the bottom half, Heath Renz struck out two in a perfect inning to record the save and secure the Miners' eighth win in their last ten games.
With the victory, Southern Illinois also now sits just one game back of the second wild card playoff spot, and will have a day off Monday before traveling to Sauget to begin a four-game series against the Gateway Grizzlies on Tuesday, with the first pitch of a doubleheader scheduled for 5:05 p.m. at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Saturday's Game: Southern Illinois becomes fifth team overall, fastest in Frontier League history to 700 wins
EVANSVILLE -- The Southern Illinois Miners beat the Evansville Otters on Saturday night at Bosse Field to win their 700th game as a franchise, becoming the fastest team in Frontier League history to reach that milestone and clinching the weekend series with their third victory in a row and seventh in their last nine games overall.
The game was scoreless through the first five innings, with Steven Ridings and Cody Thompson (3-2) combining to equal Otters starter Jake Welch (6-4), who had a perfect game going by retiring the first 15 batters he faced.
But that changed in the sixth, as Kyle Davis singled to break up the perfect game leading off in the frame. Two batters later, with one out, Omar Obregon cashed in his first Miners RBI as he singled to drive in Davis and put Southern Illinois ahead 1-0. Yeltsin Gudino then laid down a bunt with runners at first and third base, and after Welch threw to first for the out, Joe Duncan raced home and beat the tag by Mike Rizzitello to double the lead to 2-0.
In the seventh inning, the Miners would double their lead- Jamey Smart led off with a double, went to third on Aturo Nieto's single, and came home on another single by Davis for a 3-0 lead.
Two batters later, Ryan Stacy reached on an RBI fielder's choice, putting Southern Illinois up 4-0.
Thanks to stout relief from the bullpen, that lead stood up- the Otters broke up the shutout on a double play with a runner at third base in the ninth inning, but Southern Illinois clinched the series victory in Evansville by taking the first two games, their first at Bosse Field since 2015.
Davis led the way for the club offensively, enjoying a 3-for-4 game with a double, run scored and RBI as the Miners remained just two games back of a playoff spot in the standings and reached the 700-win milestone faster than any team in league history by 41 games. They are now one of five franchises in the 27-year history of the Frontier League with 700 or more victories.
Friday's Game: Southern Illinois scores six times in their last two turns at bat to take opener on the road
EVANSVILLE -- The Southern Illinois Miners broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth by scoring four times in the frame, then twice more in the ninth inning to run away with an 8-2 victory over the Evansville Otters at Bosse Field, their sixth win in their last eight games overall.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, when Gianfranco Wawoe led off with a single against Otters starter Tyler Beardsley. Jamey Smart then cracked a two-run home run out to right field to put the Miners up 2-0, and Southern Illinois starter Cole Cook made the lead stand up, as the rookie did not allow a baserunner until the third inning, and permitted just two hits and no runs with four strikeouts in the first five innings.
But the Otters chased him with a double and walk with one out in the sixth, and thanks to RBI singles by Carlos Castro and Jack Meggs, the latter of which with two outs, Evansville knotted the score at 2-2. Gabe Gentner struck out two to strand the bases loaded, however, and keep the game tied, and after Nick Durazo (4-2) pitched a scoreless seventh inning, Beardsley departed the game for Evansville, and the Miners pounced on the Otters' bullpen to go ahead for good in the eighth.
Wawoe drew a one-out walk off Kevin Simmons (0-1), and the Otters brought in left-hander Cam Opp to face Smart, who singled to left field before Kyle Davis lined a go-ahead double down the line to make it 3-2. Smart then scampered home on a sacrifice fly by Andy Cosgrove after another Otters pitching change for a 4-2 lead, and Taylor Sparks capped the inning by crushing a two-run home run to center field and putting Southern Illinois in front 6-2.
In the ninth, the Miners padded their lead as Omar Obregon walked and Yeltsin Gudino singled before Wawoe moved them to second and third base with a groundout. Smart then brought both in on another single for the final 8-2 score, with the first baseman leading the way for the Miners on the night by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Davis also went 2-for-5 on the game with an RBI, while Wawoe scored twice and Sparks drove in two in a team-wide effort.