Miners Lose Doubleheader to Rascals
O'Fallon, MO - The Southern Illinois Miners lost both ends of a doubleheader to the River City Rascals at CarShield Field on Saturday, getting blown out 15-2 in the first contest, then losing a six-run lead and dropping a 7-6, eight-inning decision in the nightcap.
In the first game, River City scored runs in every one of their turns at-bat, plating two runs in the first inning, four more in the second, two in the third, five in the fourth, and single runs in the fifth and sixth inning. The Rascals hit four home runs in the game, including two by catcher Tanner Murphy and one each by Zach Lavy and Andrew Penner, and pound out 16 hits as a club. The Miners were able to score their runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Stephen Lohr and in the seventh on a single by Cletis Avery, but could not keep the Rascals down in the lopsided defeat.
In the second game, the Miners got out to a roaring start, loading the bases in the first inning for Jamey Smart, who doubled home two runs to put the Miners ahead for the first time in the series at 2-0. They would add three more runs in the second inning for a 5-0 cushion on an RBI fielder's choice by Lohr and a two-run home run by Gianfranco Wawoe with two outs off of Rascals starter Travis McQueen.
Meanwhile, Steven Ridings was sharp in his official return to the mound. The Miners' right-hander, who had been on the injured list since late May, faced the minimum nine batters in three innings of work, striking out four and walking none. Southern Illinois then expanded their lead to six when Avery and Lohr combined for back-to-back extra-base hits in the fourth inning, with Lohr's double making the score 6-0.
But the lead would not hold. Two walks by Cody Thompson in the bottom of the fifth inning, including a leadoff base-on-balls, preceded another home run by Lavy, which cut the lead to 6-3. After scoreless appearances by Jake Godfrey and Jordan Brink, the game was still 6-3 in the seventh, and after Penner reached on an infield single, Lavy came up and hit yet another home run, his fourth in the series and second of the game, to make it 6-5 off Gabe Gentner. Four pitches later, James Morisano's solo homer off Gentner, the seventh by River City in the doubleheader, tied the game at 6-6.
Benjamin Dum kept the score tied and sent it to extra innings, where the Rascals won it in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Morisano to deal the Miners a heartbreaking loss and drop their record for the season to 29-29. Avery paced the Miners with five hits in the doubleheader, while Lohr added three RBIs, but it was not enough. The Miners will look to avoid a four-game sweep on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. at CarShield Field.
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 www.southernillinoisminers.com.
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