McAuliffe throws six shutout innings, Southern Illinois backs him with 12 hits

Florence, KY (May 25, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners received an outstanding start on the mound from Ryan McAuliffe and backed him with early run support in a 6-1 win over the Florence Freedom on Saturday night at UC Health Stadium, evening their record at 7-7 and evening the series at one game apiece.

McAuliffe (1-0) had to work out of early trouble in the first two innings, as Florence put two men on in the first inning and loaded the bases in the second inning with no one out. But the right-hander persevered, getting a pop-out and a double play to escape the second unscathed, and the Miners’ bats went to work in the top of the third against Florence starter Frank Valentino (1-1).

With one out in the top of the third, Arturo Nieto and Joe Moran singled, followed by an RBI double by Bryant Flete that made it 1-0 Southern Illinois. On the next pitch, Joe Duncan also singled home a run to make it 2-0. The next inning, Kyle Davis smacked an opposite-field solo home run to stretch the lead out to 3-0.

That would be all McAuliffe would need as he tied his season and career high of six innings pitched, scattering six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in his first victory as a Miner. Southern Illinois added insurance on their lead in the later innings, with a sacrifice fly from Brett Siddallmaking if 4-0 in the eighth inning, and after Florence plated their only run of the game in the bottom of the frame, Stephen Lohr put the game out of reach with a two-run single to center field in the ninth for the final 6-1 margin.

Flete tied a Miners season-high with four hits on the day, going 4-for-5 with his first Miners run batted in, while Lohr finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs, Davis ended up 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and Moran put up his second-straight 2-for-4 performance along with two runs scored. For the second-straight game, the Miners had 12 total hits as a team en route to the well-rounded win.

The Miners and Freedom will conclude their series on Sunday afternoon at 4:35 p.m. before Southern Illinois returns to Rent One Park to begin a six-game homestand this week. Both teams have yet to announce their starters for the rubber match of the three-game set.

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.