Miners Rally Late to Sweep Otters
Evansville, IN - 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.
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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