The Southern Illinois Miners’ ace and reigning Frontier League Pitcher of the Year Matt Bywater silenced the Evansville Otters’ bats over nine innings, walking two and striking out ten to throw the second no-hitter in franchise history as the Miners shut out the visitors 3-0 on Friday night at Rent One Park.
The Thousand Oaks, California native became the second Miners pitcher to throw a no-hitter, exactly one year and one week after Rick Teasley threw the first on June 5th of last season. Bywater also became the first ever Miners pitcher to throw a nine-inning no-hitter with his magnificent effort, the 25th no-hitter in the history of the Frontier League.
The Otters got just two baserunners on the game, as Chris Sweeney walked in the fifth and Cory Urquhart did the same in the ninth, but Bywater (5-0) was perfect otherwise. The Miners offense scored twice on Jon Minucci’s two-out RBI single with the bases loaded in the fifth off of Evansville starter Trevor Walch (1-2). Southern Illinois scored again in the eighth off of Walch (who threw a complete game but took the loss) when Niko Vasquez singled home Jerrud Sabourin, who tripled to lead off the inning.
That was all Bywater needed to dominate once again on the mound in getting Southern Illinois back on the winning track at 16-9, while Evansville’s lead over the Miners in the East Division standings was trimmed to one game. Of Bywater’s ten strikeouts, five came in the final three innings and four were looking strikeouts, including the final out of the game when Kurt Wertz, Jr. was punched out, commencing the celebration at Rent One Park.
The Miners will take on the Otters again on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m., with a starter to be announced against Efrain Nieves for Evansville.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2014 Frontier League East Division Champions and the 2012 Frontier League Champions. 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 2007, their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the Rent One Park box office at 618-998-8499. For any additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.