Mistakes Cost Miners at Windy City
Marion, IL - The Southern Illinois Miners came back from an early 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 lead, but could not hold it in losing 5-3 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood, evening the series at one game apiece.
The ThunderBolts struck in the first against Gunnar Kines, as Rob Calabrese's RBI double made the score 1-0. Kines would settle in after that, however, and after he worked around a leadoff triple for a scoreless bottom of the third, the Miners struck back and then some.
Luke Mangieri led off the frame with a single and later stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Windy City catcher Jake Hirabayashi. Ian Walters was then hit by a pitch with two outs, and Nick Neville reached on a sharply-hit infield single that got off the glove of Jamey Smart at first base, scoring Mangieri and making it 1-1. On the very next pitch from ThunderBolts starter Kenny Mathews (1-2), Anthony Brocato mashed a triple to right field, scoring both Walters and Neville to vault the Miners in front 3-1.
But the lead would not hold thanks to three errors in the middle frames by the Southern Illinois defense. In the bottom of the fourth with a runner at third and two outs, Jose Layer's ground ball back to the mound got through Kines for an error to make it 3-2. In the following inning with two outs, Kines was chased by a two-out RBI single by Jairus Richards that knotted the score at 3-3.
In the sixth inning, the ThunderBolts took the lead for good- after a one-out walk issued by Jose Fuentes (0-2), a wide pickoff throw sent Brynn Martinez to second base, and he scored on an RBI double by Layer to make it 4-3. Later in the frame, Layer stole third, and a throwing error by John Cable allowed him to score on the play, making the score 5-3.
The Miners would threaten the lead late, getting the tying runs on base in the seventh and eighth and the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but were unable to get closer in losing the contest by a two runs. Brocato led the offense with a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs, while Kyle Hinton struck out four in two innings of work to hold the line out of the Miners' bullpen, but it was not enough.
The Miners will conclude the series with a rubber game on Thursday, June 10, at 7:05 p.m. at Ozinga Field, sending Kaleb Schmidt to the mound against Windy City rookie Layne Schnitz-Paxton before returning home to Marion for the weekend.
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