Miners Lose Late at Gateway
Marion, IL - The Southern Illinois Miners lost their fifth consecutive game on Tuesday night in the series opener against the Gateway Grizzlies, falling 7-4 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget.
The Miners got the early lead in the top of the second inning when Anthony Brocato delivered a two-run home run to right field, with his seventh home run of the season making it 2-0 Southern Illinois. But the Miners could not hold that lead, as in the bottom of the second, Gateway loaded the bases on a pair of walks by Michael Austin as well as a single. Justin Jones then hit into a fielder's choice to score the game's first run from third base and make it 2-1. On the next pitch, Nick Rotola shot a two-run double to right-center field to give the Grizzlies a 3-2 lead.
A Jones solo home run to the short porch in right field increased that lead to 4-2 in the fourth inning, and the Miners would not be able to rally against Grizzlies starter Jordan Barrett over the next two frames, but would be able to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning against reliever John Murphy. Cody Erickson singled to left field with one out for his first hit as a Miner, and Carson Bartels walked. After a flyout, Nolan Earley also walked to load the bases with two outs for Ariel Sandoval, who singled up the middle to score both Erickson and Bartels to knot the score at 4-4.
But that tie also would not hold in the bottom half. Ty Moore reached on a leadoff error when Zac Westcott (7-3) could not make the catch at first base on a throw by Bartels. A bunt single and a hit batter then loaded the bases for Jose Rosario, who walked to drive in the lead run and make it 5-4. Westcott got two strikeouts against the next two hitters, but again issued a walk with the bases loaded to Connor Owings, departing the game with the Miners down 6-4. Jones then singled to center field to make it 7-4, with Sandoval throwing out Rosario at the plate to end the inning, but the damage was done. Southern Illinois was then unable to mount a late charge, losing the series opener.
The Miners will look to snap their streak on Wednesday, August 4, at 6:45 p.m. in the middle game of the series against the Grizzlies, with Gunnar Kines taking the mound against Gateway right-hander Matt Mulhearn at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
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