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Bullpen Dominates in Loss to Gateway

July 17, 2019 - Frontier League (FL) - Southern Illinois Miners News Release

Marion, IL - The Southern Illinois Miners again fell behind the Gateway Grizzlies early, and despite outstanding relief work to hold the visitors' offense down in the late innings, they could not dig out of the early hole in a 5-3 loss at Rent One Park.

A one-out error by Gianfranco Wawoe in the bottom of the first inning turned into the game's first run when Connor Owings followed with a double off Tyson Cronin to make it 1-0, marking the seventh time in seven games this year that Gateway has scored first against the Miners. After Jhombeyker Morales made an outstanding diving catch at shortstop for the second out of the frame, Cronin allowed two walks around two RBI singles as the Grizzlies built a 3-0 lead.

They would expand that lead in the fourth when, after a leadoff walk and hit batter, Brent Sakurai doubled both runners in to make it 5-0. Anthony Jimenez provided an answer with a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the frame, which made the score 5-1, but that was all the Miners' offense got off Gateway starter Jordan Barrett (2-4) in the first six innings.

The Miners' bullpen would hold the line at five runs, as Heath Renz pitched two scoreless frames, while Benjamin Dum, Will Headean, and Jake Godfrey combined for three perfect innings. Overall, the Southern Illinois relief corps combined to throw five shutout innings with two hits allowed, one walk, and six strikeouts while also retiring the final 10 batters they collectively faced. That allowed the Miners to get closer when Davis hit a two-run home run, his team-best ninth of the season, in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it a 5-3 game, but the club would not record a runner on base in the ninth.

Davis ended up 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs, and Cletis Avery finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and a double, but the Miners managed just one other hit in the contest. They will try and bounce back in the final two games of the series, which will be played as a doubleheader on Wednesday, July 17, beginning at 5:05 p.m. Marty Anderson will throw in game one against the Grizzlies' Ian Kahaloa, and a starter to be named will pitch against Gateway's Thomas Nicoll in the second contest.

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

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