Early Lead Slips Away for Miners in Evansville
Marion, IL - The Southern Illinois Miners had a 3-0 lead early on Friday night against the Evansville Otters, but managed only two hits in the game as they watched the home team come back for a 4-3 result at Bosse Field.
The Miners took advantage of Evansville mistakes in the top of the second inning to get the early advantage. Ian Walters drew a leadoff walk, and a fly ball to left field off the bat of Anthony Brocato was dropped by Andrew Penner for an error, putting runners at second and third base with no one out. Luke Mangieri then gave the Miners a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to right field, and Jared Mang followed by hitting a two-run home run to right field, putting Southern Illinois in front 3-0.
Elijah MacNamee's solo home run leading off the bottom of the frame against Gunnar Kines made it 3-1, but the left-hander for the Miners was able to minimize the damage. He also worked around base runners in the third and fourth innings, but surrendered a two-out RBI double to J.R. Davis that made the score 3-2. Blake Stelzer (3-1) then came in and got out of a jam in the sixth thanks to a double play, but could not keep the Otters off the board in the seventh, as Evansville rallied for a pair of runs in the frame.
With two runners on base thanks to a leadoff infield hit and a walk, Miles Gordon's RBI double tied the score at 3-3, with the lead run being thrown out at the plate for the first out of the inning. But Davis came up again with two outs, and also reached on an infield single to score the eventual winning run and make it 4-3.
Meanwhile, the Miners were stifled by Braden Scott (4-2), with the Evansville starter striking out 10 and allowing just one base runner after the second inning- an infield hit by Mangieri in the top of the seventh- as Southern Illinois dropped the series opener.
The Miners and Otters are scheduled to play a doubleheader next on Saturday, July 31, at 5:05 p.m. as the series continues at Bosse Field. Zac Westcott and Kaleb Schmidt are scheduled to pitch for Southern Illinois against the Otters' Polo Portela and a starter to be named.
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Jared Mang at bat for the Southern Illinois Miners
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