MARION, Ill. – The Southern Illinois Miners got seven stellar innings on the mound from left-hander Chris Washington and used a five-run third inning to surge ahead of the Evansville Otters en route to a 9-2 victory at Bosse Field in Evansville on Saturday night, evening the weekend series at one game apiece.
Neither team scored in the first two innings, but the Miners would send eight men to the plate in the third frame against Evansville starter Trevor Walch (0-2) to break the game open. London Lindley led off with a double and after Romeo Cortina walked, a passed ball moved the runners to second and third base. Two batters later, an RBI groundout by Craig Massey brought home the game’s first run for a 1-0 Miners lead. Nolan Earley followed with a walk before an RBI single by Ryan Lashley doubled the lead to 2-0, and James Alfonso followed with a three-run home run, his first with the Miners, to push the advantage out to 5-0.
Southern Illinois added on in the next frame on an RBI single by Massey for a 6-0 lead to back Washington (3-3), who pitched seven innings in the game and allowed just five singles and two earned runs, which Evansville scored in the fourth inning, on an RBI single by Alejandro Segovia, and in the sixth inning, on a sacrifice fly by Dane Phillips, to cut the Miners’ lead to 6-2.
But Southern Illinois responded in the seventh inning when with a man on base, Craig Massoni hit a two-run home run over the left field fence to make it 8-2. They would also add on in the ninth inning on a two-out RBI single by Lindley for the final margin. Brett Wiley led the way with three hits in the 11-hit attack for the Miners, while Massey, Massoni and Alfonso added multiple RBIs to the winning effort.
The Miners will now go for a series win in the rubber match on Sunday at 5:05 p.m., starting Matt Parish on the hill against former Miner Hunter Ackerman.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2016 Frontier League West Division Champions, the 2014 and 2015 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.