MINERS COME BACK LATE TO OVERTAKE WILD THINGS

Southern Illinois gets stellar start from Anderson, clutch hits to win series opener

Marion, IL (June 11, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners were down 1-0 through the first five innings against the Washington Wild Things on Tuesday night, but rallied with single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to pull ahead and eventually win the series opener 3-2 at Rent One Park, improving to 15-12 overall and 8-2 at home.

Marty Anderson started for the Miners, and the Wild Things were able to get three hits (all doubles) off of him in the first three innings, with Cameron Baranek’s in the second inning scoring Mikael Mogues and making it 1-0 Washington. But that was the last hit Anderson (1-0) gave up in putting together a second-straight outstanding start against the Wild Things. The southpaw pitched a season-high seven and one-third innings, and allowed just the solitary run on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts to tie a Miners season-high. He also retired the final ten batters that he faced in the contest in what became his first victory in a Southern Illinois uniform.

Offensively, the Miners were stymied by Nick Wegmann until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Bryant Flete took Wegmann deep into the visiting bullpen for a solo home run, his first as a Miner, to tie the game at 1-1. In the following inning against reliever Jesus Balaguer (0-1), Joe Duncan singled with one out, and with two outs, Jonathan Pryor singled up the middle to advance Duncan to third base. Gianfranco Wawoe then beat out an infield hit to the third baseman Wander Franco, hustling up the line safely to bring in the go-ahead run and make it 2-1 Southern Illinois.

In the eighth, the Miners tacked on an insurance run that would prove to also be the winning run as Alex Santana, Duncan, and Flete singled in consecutive at-bats with two outs, with Flete’s second run-scoring hit of the night putting Southern Illinois up 3-1. In the bottom of the frame, Baranek hit a solo home run with two outs to make it 3-2 and Brett Marr singled to put the tying run on base, but Gabe Gentner got Saige Jenco to fly out to center field to end the game.

Flete ended up going 3-for-5 with two RBIs at the top of the order to lead the Miners’ offense, which out-hit Washington’s ten to five in the game as Southern Illinois improved to 4-0 this year in series openers at home. They will now look to take the series on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. in the middle game, sending Chase Cunningham to pitch against his former team for the first time against the Wild Things’ A.J. Bogucki.

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.

FLORENCE’S RICKY RAMIREZ JR. AND GATEWAY’S LUCAS LANPHERE EARN PLAYER AND PITCHER OF THE WEEK AWARD

Florence Freedom Ricky Ramirez, Jr. and Gateway Grizzlie Lucas Lanphere go home with this week’s Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, as chosen by Pointstreak, the official statistical provider of the Frontier League and the Independent Professional Baseball Federation.

Florence Freedom’s lefty outfielder Ricky Ramirez, Jr. broke out of his slump with a great week at the plate. Ramirez posted a .438 batting average this week with 7 hits in 16 at bats. Ramirez tacked on seven walks to his league leading 34, giving him a .625 OBP. Ricky also added five runs, one home run and three runs batted in this week. His versatile week added up to a lofty 1.375 OPS and 7.3 runs created for the hot Florence Freedom.

The 25-year old out of Deer Park Texas begins his second professional season, both with the Freedom. Ramirez comes from McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he played two years after transferring from Alvin Community College. Ricky posted a good rookie season with a strong .276 batting average and .380 OBP in 2018. Ramirez looks to build on this week and bounce back from a slow start.

Lucas Lanphere showed his upside with his first professional complete game as he shut out the Windy City ThunderBolts on Saturday night. Lucas’s only hit he surrendered was a slow infield hit with one out in the ninth inning. He finished the night with 11 strikeouts and only two walks for his first win in the Frontier League. Lanphere threw 124 pitches with 80 of those finding the zone as he only faced three over the minimum batters.

The Texas Rangers selected Lucas in the 21st round of the 2013 MLB draft, out of Citrus Valley High School in Redlands, California. The 23-year old is in his first year in the Frontier League after pitching 6 seasons in the Rangers organization. In his time with the Rangers Lanphere posted a 14-9 record in 33 starts, a 3.90 ERA and 194 strikeouts.

Pointstreak provides the league with its statistical software and in game scoring applications. They aim to deliver “fast scores and cool stats to players, parents, fans, scouts and media.” For more information on Pointstreak products visit them at www.poinstreaksolutions.com or www.pointstreak.com.

The Frontier League is entering its 27th season in 2019 and features ten teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to the Great Lakes. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 37 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.

Frontier League News and Notes 6-10: Moving on in Style

For the third time this season, a member of the Frontier League will be moving on to a Major League Baseball organization. Evansville Otters starter Patrick McGuff joins the likes of former Windy City ThunderBolt starter Adam Oller and former Washington Wild Things catcher Lucas Herbert following the purchase of his contract by the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 9.

Herbert was selected by the Diamondbacks on June 2, but before that, the Wild Things catcher faced McGuff in a May 28 contest at Bosse Field. Evansville won that game 3-0 thanks in large part to McGuff’s eight shutout innings, but one of the five hits he allowed was to his new organizational mate, Herbert.

McGuff broke into the Frontier League in 2018 following his release from the Cincinnati Reds and pitched to an eye-popping 1.55 ERA over 29 innings in five starts. This season, the right-handed pitcher was nearly unhittable.

Over 43 total innings in 2019, McGuff finished his year with two complete games, which included one shutout, a 1.05 ERA and allowed just 22 hits with 60 strikeouts and 17 walks accompanied by a 0.907 WHIP. The Otters were 6-0 in games he started this season.

McGuff leaves the Frontier League following a performance that is difficult to top. In his final outing on June 7 against the Schaumburg Boomers, McGuff was one out away from a no-hitter, but a Clint Hardy single broke up the bid for history. He settled for a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts, one walk and one hit.

As the League marveled McGuff’s standout performance, he was almost matched by Gateway Grizzlies starter Lucas Lanphere one day later. Lanphere took a no-hitter into the 9th inning against the ThunderBolts on June 8 and with one out, Manuel Mesa beat out an infield single for Windy City’s lone safety.

Lanphere, a former Texas Rangers farmhand, earned the complete game shutout after allowing just one hit, two walks and striking out 12. Prior to his near-no-hit bid, the 23-year-old right-hander was coming off a career-worst outing where he went a mere 1.1 innings. After Lanphere’s effort against Windy City, his ERA dropped almost four full runs.

Staying on the topic of no-hit bids, Southern Illinois Minors starter Nick Stroud threw 6.1 no-hit innings the same evening of Lanphere’s performance. Stroud was removed from the contest in the 7th inning due to a high pitch count. He struck out nine, walked six and allowed an unearned run over his 113-pitch effort.

To round out the highlighted pitching performances is River City’s Dalton Roach, who picked the wrong time to throw a complete game. Despite being overshadowed by McGuff and Lanphere, Roach has arguably been the most efficient starter in the Frontier League this season.

In his last outing on June 8, Roach allowed just one run on three hits over nine innings while striking out 11 and walking one in a 7-1 win against the Joliet Slammers. The Rascals starter sports a 1.13 ERA on the year and his last three outings have been stellar.

Over his previous 23 innings pitched, the 23-year-old is 3-0 with 31 strikeouts, four walks and has allowed only 11 hits. Roach did not allow an earned run over his first 11 innings of 2019.

Speaking of River City, manager Steve Brook won his 500th game on May 31. Read more about the 16-year Frontier League veteran and his achievement HERE.

Elsewhere around the Frontier League, the Florence Freedom are starting to put together a healthy stretch of games that has resulted in the League’s best record in terms of winning percentage. At 16-10, the Freedom have won eight of their last 12 and continue to get production in all facets of their game.


Austin Wobrock, who is seen above making a spectacular play worthy of SportsCenter’s No. 2 spot on their top-10 plays of the day, has been a standout player in the League this season. The Florence shortstop ranks in the top-10 in batting average at .319 and has reached base safely in all but five of his team’s 26 games played.

Wobrock’s teammate Ricky Ramirez Jr. is putting it together as of late, as the left-handed hitting outfielder has seven hits over his last 16 at-bats (.438) with two doubles, a home run, three RBI, seven walks and five runs scored.

LEAGUE LEADERS THROUGH 27 GAMES

Batting Average: Trevor Achenbach, River City (.356)
Doubles: Andrew Daniel, Braxton Martinez, Tyler Straub (T-10)
Home Runs: Dash Winningham, Saige Jenco, Kyle Davis (T-6)
Runs Batted In: Hector Roa, Washington Wild Things (25)
Stolen Bases: Luis Pintor, Cody Livesay (T-14)

Earned Run Average: Dalton Roach, River City Rascals (1.13)
Innings Pitched: Randy Wynne, Evansville Otters (44)
Strikeouts: Tyler Jandron, Joliet Slammers (43)
Wins: Wynne, Evansvlle Otters (5)
Saves: Jackson Sigman, River City Rascals (7)

 

Mike Rankin

Rascals Fall in Finale

O’FALLON, Mo. — The River City Rascals were unable to finish off a series sweep of the Joliet Slammers on Sunday, dropping the finale 12-7 to the Joliet Slammers at CarShield Field. London Lindley had four of Joliet’s 19 hits, and also drove in two runs in the victory. LJ Kalawaia, Riley Krane, and Peyton Isaacson each drove in two runs on three hits for the Slammers.

After falling behind early, the Rascals offense erupted for four runs in the bottom of the third, thanks to an RBI double from Trevor Achenbach and a three-run homer from Nolan Meadows. However, the Slammers struck for five runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good. Tanner Murphy and Cody Livesay each had RBI doubles in the sixth inning, and Braxon Martinez led-off the seventh with a home run, but it wasn’t enough. The Slammers never took their foot off the gas, scoring three huge insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Rascals starter Travis McQueen allowed five runs in four innings with two walks and six strikeouts. Reliever Tanner Cable (1-2) took the loss, allowing three runs, two of which were earned. Slammers starter Tyler Jandron (2-2) earned the victory, going five innings, allowing five runs and striking out six with no walks.

The Rascals (16-11) resume play on Tuesday across the mighty Mississippi River in Sauget, Ill., for the first of a three-game set against the Gateway Grizzlies. First pitch of the opener is slated for 7:05 p.m. CDT. Brendan Feldmann is expected to start on the mound for the Rascals.

Ninth-inning comeback beats Gateway

CRESTWOOD, IL – Dash Winningham’s RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a three-run inning for the ThunderBolts, who erased a 2-0 deficit to beat the Gateway Grizzlies 3-2 at Ozinga Field Sunday afternoon.

Randy Perez, typically an infielder, started on the mound for the ThunderBolts (13-14) and threw three scoreless innings. The Grizzlies (12-15) had several scoring chances off of him but they left five men on base in the three frames.

Joel Toribio followed with three shutout frames and Blake Hickman and Colby Blueberg each tossed one to keep the game scoreless.

The ThunderBolts had only one hit, a Shane Carrier double, over the first eight innings. Their only other base runner came on a dropped third strike.

In the ninth inning, Gateway loaded the bases on a single and two walks. Blueberg got the first out on strikes and Dylan Prohoroff came out of the bullpen to strike out the next batter, bringing up Jamey Smart with two outs. Smart hit a grounder to the shortstop and the throw bounced in for an error, allowing two runs to score, breaking up the shutout.

Micah Coffey led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk and Brynn Martinez followed with a single. Manuel Mesa dropped down a bunt that was thrown away by Connor Owings, allowing Coffey to score. That run snapped a 26 innings scoreless streak for the ThunderBolts. Tyler Straub’s sacrifice fly tied the score and, with two outs, Winningham hit a liner down the right field line to score the game-winning run.

Prohoroff (2-0) got credit for the win in relief while Grant Black (0-2) gave up all three runs for the loss.

The ThunderBolts begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday evening as they start a series with the Evansville Otters. Austin Jones (1-1, 5.29) makes his second start of the year for the ThunderBolts. First pitch from Bosse Field is scheduled for 6:35 and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.

Lake Erie Crushers d. Southern Illinois Miners, 14-1

Offensive Explosion
Crusher bats come alive in 14-1 victory over Miners
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, set season highs with 14 runs and 16 hits on Sunday afternoon at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium, as they avoided a sweep with a convincing 14-1 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners.
The win for the Crushers (13-13) snapped a four game home losing streak, while the loss for the Miners (14-12) spoiled their attempt at what would have been their first sweep on the road this season.
The Miners struck first in the top of the first inning without recording a hit. Bryant Flete started the game with a seven pitch walk, before moving to second on a wild pitch. Jonathan Pryor moved him to third on a groundout to short, and he came around to score on Gianfranco Wawoe’s sacrifice fly-out to right.
Lake Erie was able to answer two innings later. James Davison Jr. reached on a four pitch free pass in the bottom of the third. He stole second base and came around to score the game tying run on Steven Kraft’s RBI double down the line in right.
The Crushers took their first lead of the series in the bottom of the fifth inning, where they scored four times on two hits to take a 5-1 advantage. Kraft and Jake Vieth walked to start the inning, and they both came around to score on Emmanuel Marrero’s two-run double off the wall in left-center. Two batters later, Aaron Hill capped the big inning by belting a two-run homer to left, his third of the season.
Lake Erie put four more runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Vieth brought in the first two runs of the inning on a base hit to score Bodie Bryan and Davison Jr. Dale Burdick followed with his first of two RBI doubles on the day and Zach Racusin brought in the final run of the inning with a RBI groundout.
The Crusher offense was far from finished, as they posted a third consecutive four run inning in the bottom of the seventh. Kraft belted a RBI single to right score Bryan, before Burdick delivered his second RBI double of the game and Marrero struck again, belting a two run single to center to cap the big inning.
Lake Erie added one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Bryan started the inning with a triple to left-center and came around to score on Davison Jr.’s RBI single.
Dylan Mouzakes (2-1) picked up the victory for the Crushers, allowing just a run on four hits while striking out six in six innings of work. Patrick Duester (0-2) took the loss after allowing six runs on two hits over an inning of relief.
Eight out of the starting nine for the Crushers hit safely multiple times, with Steven Kraft leading the way, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Vieth has now reached safely in 14 straight games while Burdick extended his on base streak to 10 games.
The Crushers are off on Monday, but will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday night, which begins with a three-game series against the Joliet Slammers. The starting pitching match-up has not been announced. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at Sprenger Health Care Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio.  The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 10 teams operating throughout the Midwest. For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.

MINERS DENIED SWEEP AT LAKE ERIE

Southern Illinois returns to Marion for six-game homestand this week

Avon, OH (June 8, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners had a 1-0 lead after one inning in their bid for a three-game sweep of the Lake Erie Crushers, but could not hold the home team down in the middle and late innings in a 14-1 loss at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio on Sunday afternoon.

Bryant Flete led off the game with a walk against Crushers starter Dylan Mouzakes (2-1), with a passed ball and groundout getting him to third base for Gianfranco Wawoe, who brought Flete in with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Southern Illinois lead. Starter Cody Thompson held the Crushers off the board until the bottom of the third inning, when Steven Kraft snuck a double inside the first base bag to plate James Davison, Jr. and tie the game at 1-1.

Thompson also worked around a jam in the fourth inning with two runners on base to keep the game tied, but after he departed following four innings of work, the Crushers jumped on the Southern Illinois bullpen, scoring four times in each of the next three innings to lead 13-1 and salvage the series finale. Lake Erie also added one more run in the ninth with Brett Siddall pitching in the frame on a triple and single leading off, but Siddall retired the final three batters he faced in his first career appearance on the mound.

Having won the series by taking the first two games and finishing 3-3 on the long road trip, the Miners will return to Rent One Park to kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. against the Washington Wild Things, with Marty Anderson toeing the rubber in the series opener against Washington left-hander Nick Wegmann.

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.

FREEDOM TAME WILD THINGS TO SETUP SWEEP

Ryan Hill collects first pro win, Ricky Ramirez Jr. crushes second homer

WASHINGTON, Penn– Consistent offense has been key as the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, grabbed their second straight win over the Washington Wild Things, 8-4, setting up a sweep opportunity in the Sunday finale at Wild Things Park.

Isaac Benard gave the Freedom (15-10) an early lift, launching a solo-shot to right-center off Wild Things (9-18) starter, Michael Austin (2-3) to lead-off the game in the top of the first. Not done there, Luis Pintor worked his first of four walks on the night one batter later, and soon found himself standing on third when Austin Wobrock strolled to the plate. Wobrock came through, serving a base-hit to left that plated Pintor and pushed the visitor’s ahead, 2-0.

Washington would answer in their first at-bat off Florence starter, Ryan Hill (1-0). After back-to-back base knocks to start the frame put runners on the corners, Shaine Hughes made it a one-run affair when he reached on a fielder’s choice, a hard slide into second from Wander Franco breaking up the potential double-play as the score moved to, 2-1.

The Freedom would answer the bell in the second, adding an additional run to re-claim a two-run edge at, 3-1. Mike Gulino stroked a single to lead-off the inning, and was standing at third two batters later thanks to a sacrifice bunt from Brandon Pugh and a Connor Crane single. When Crane broke for second in search of a stolen base, Gulino took off for home. Washington elected to throw through to second, but everybody was safe and the Freedom were again in front by a pair. Adding to their lead in the fourth, Ricky Ramirez Jr. made a third walk to Pintor hurt, blistering his second big-fly of the year over the second row of signage in right-center field. The no doubt about it blast increased the margin to four at, 5-1.

Austin would not come back out for the fifth, ending his night after four complete frames that featured 5 earned runs on 8 hits with 5 walks and 2 striketouts. The righty would go on to take the loss, making him 0-2 in a pair of starts against Florence in 2019.

The Wild Things would close the gap in the home half of the fifth, after Hill recorded two quick outs in succession. Brett Marr was hit by a pitch, bringing Saige Jenco to the plate with a runner aboard. Jenco would touch ’em all, lifting his team-leading fifth homer of the season way back in right to make the score, 5-3. The long-ball was the first Washington hit since the bottom of the first inning, as Hill hit his stride in the early innings.

After one clean inning of work from Things southpaw, Nick Durazo in the fifth, Florence broke through on the lefty and knocked him out of the game after recording just one out in the sixth. A walk, a hit batter and catcher’s interference loaded the bases to start the inning, allowing Wobrock to do more damage on a fielder’s choice. Wobrock has now plated eight runs and recorded six hits in five games against his former team in 2019. His 14 RBI on the season are third most on the Freedom behind Benard (15) and Crane (18). Taylor Bryant would levy the knock-out blow to Durazo, notching a run-scoring single for his second knock of the game as Florence seized control of the game at, 8-3. Adding a ninth inning double, Bryant finished his night 3-4 at the plate in the winning effort.

Continuing to fight, Washington would plate their final run in the bottom of the sixth, an unearned run charged to Hill that made the score, 8-4, the eventual final. When a walk and a balk moved Hughes to second, Hector Roa rolled over a ground-ball to third that was fielded clean by Bryant, but his throw took a nose-dive at first, skipping away from Crane as Hughes scored and Roa advanced to second. After coaxing J.J Fernandez into a ground-out to first, Hill was pulled in favor of hard throwing right-hander, Brian McKenna. Hill finished his night having spanned 5.1 innings and allowed just three hits that led to four runs, three earned, with three free passes and two strikeouts. Hill would go on to take the win in his longest start of the season.

Washington would have no answer for McKenna and Johnathon Tripp, who tallied six strikeouts in 3.2 shutout innings of work combined. Spanning the final two frames, Tripp tallied the rare two-inning save, slamming the door on his fifth save of the season.

The Freedom and Wild Things will square off one final time at Wild Things Park on Sunday, Florence sending out lefty, Mike Castellani opposite southpaw, John Havird for the Things. The lefty showcase will have a 5:35 p.m. first pitch in Washington, Penn.

The Florence Freedom are members of the Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY. The Freedom can be found online at florencefreedom.com, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.

STROUD TOSSES GEM AS MINERS HALT LAKE ERIE, TAKE SERIES

Avon, OH (June 8, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners built an early lead on Saturday against the Lake Erie Crushers, and then turned aside a comeback attempt in the ninth inning when Stephen Lohr’s relay throw to the plate nailed Dale Burdick trying to score the tying run, securing the final out of a 5-4 win to clinch the road series in Avon.

Rookie right-hander Nick Stroud got the start on the mound for the Miners, and in his second outing as a professional, the Dalton City, Illinois native was outstanding, holding the Crushers hitless over six and one-third innings while walking six and striking out a Miners season-high nine. Meanwhile, the Miners got on the board on Gianfranco Wawoe’s infield RBI single in the third inning against Crushers starter Greyfer Eregua (0-3), then added on in the following inning when Kyle Davis hit a two-run home run to put Southern Illinois up 3-0.

That was all Stroud (1-1) needed in the contest, as he continued to pitch a no-hitter, leaving the game after walking Aaron Hill with one out in the seventh inning. Two batters later, Bodie Bryan broke up the no-hit bid with a single to left that along with an error on Jonathan Pryor scored Hill and made the score 3-1.

The Miners were able to add on two more runs in the top of the eighth against Jake Repavich, as Pryor walked and Wawoe singled to lead off the frame, and three wild pitches later in the inning by Kent Hasler scored both runners and made the score 5-1, while Heath Renz held the Crushers off the board in relief of Stroud with five strikeouts of his own.

In the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Bernstein struck out the first batter he faced before Bryan De La Rosa reached on an infield hit. Bryan then hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out, with the relay to first base sailing on Bryant Flete for an error and moving Bryan to second base. After an RBI single by James Davison, Jr. made it 5-2, a ground ball to third base by Steven Kraft was also thrown high to first base for an error by Alex Santana, and a walk to Burdick loaded the bases with still two outs in the inning.

Gabe Gentner came in to face Jake Vieth, and the Lake Erie first baseman hit a double to right field to score two runs. Burdick also tried to score from first base to tie the game, but Brett Siddall’s throw into the infield found Lohr, whose relay to Arturo Nieto at the plate was perfect to nab a sliding Burdick and end the game.

The win improved the Miners to 14-11 on the season and clinched their first series win of the year. They will seek a sweep of the Crushers on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. at Sprenger Stadium before heading back home, as Cody Thompson takes the hill against Lake Erie’s Dylan Mouzakes.

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.

Rascals Win Behind Roach’s Complete Game

O’FALLON, Mo. — The River City Rascals won in dominating fashion on Saturday night at CarShield Field, defeating the Joliet Slammers 7-1 to take the 2-0 series lead. Dalton Roach (4-0) threw a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

Riley Krane gave the Slammers an early 1-0 lead with his fourth inning home run, but the Rascals immediately responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame–on a solo homer from Trevor Achenbach and a two-run single from Andrew Penner. Braxton Martinez made it 5-1 with his two-run blast in the fifth, and JD Hearn added a two-run double in the seventh.

Slammers starter Matt Quintana (1-1) took the loss, allowing five runs on 4 2/3 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.

The Rascals (16-10) look for their first series sweep of the year against the Slammers (9-17) tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. CDT. Travis McQueen is expected to take the mound for the Rascals.

LANPHERE ONE-HITTER PROPELS GATEWAY TO WIN

CRESTWOOD, Ill. — Lucas Lanphere came within two outs of the Gateway Grizzlies’ first no-hitter since July 2013, but he had to settle for a complete game, one-hit shutout and a 5-0 Grizzlies win over the Windy City ThunderBolts at Ozinga Field.

Lanphere (1-2) struck out 11, walked two, and allowed only one hit over nine scoreless innings. Manuel Mesa broke up the no-no bid on a slow-rolling grounder to shortstop with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Gateway (12-14) earned its first three-game winning streak of 2019 and will go for its first sweep this season Sunday.

In an eerily similar pattern of events to Friday’s series opener, the Grizzlies left two runners on in the first inning without scoring before they broke through with a pair of runs in the third. Gunnar Buhner and Brent Sakuraisingled and scores on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Connor Owings and an RBI bunt single by Luke Lowery.

Jamey Smart drove in another pair of Grizzlies runs with a double in the fourth. He moved into the team lead and second in the Frontier League with 20 RBIs, a number he’s compiled in only 20 games (18 starts). Owings is hot on his heels with 19 knocked home this year.

Gateway scored only in the third and fourth innings Friday night — on seven hits, the same number the Grizzlies had through four frames Saturday — and managed only one more hit.

Matt McPhearson scored on a wild pitch to add insurance in the ninth to break up the similarities; the Grizzlies finished with nine hits Saturday as opposed to eight Friday. Buhner had the Grizzlies’ only multi-hit game.

Windy City (12-14) dropped its second straight.

Lanphere’s performance was all the more impressive after his last outing, in which he allowed a career-high 11 runs to the Washington Wild Things over 1 1/3 innings. The righthander showed immense mental toughness and pitched with a purpose from the first inning. He threw 124 pitches — 28 more than his previous career high over five professional seasons before coming to the Grizzlies prior to 2019.

Lanphere missed the entirety of the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

The last Grizzlies no-hitter, thrown by Tim Brown on July 20, 2013, in Sauget, survived to a 2,150th day as the franchise’s most recent no-no.

Gateway and Windy City are scheduled for a 2:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Sunday in the series finale.

ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find – affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.

ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 10 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.

Rascals Rout Slammers in Opener

O’FALLON, Mo. — The River City Rascals defeated the Joliet Slammers 8-3 in their series opening match-up on Friday night. Kameron Esthay had four of the team’s season-high 17 hits, and starter Alex Winkelman took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the victory.

Esthay led-off the fourth inning with a double, which was followed by a two-run blast from Nolan Meadows to put the Rascals on the board 2-0. James Morisano and Artemis Kadkhodaian added back-to-back RBI doubles later in the frame to make it 4-0 Rascals. The Slammers struck for three runs in the sixth, on a three-run homer from Chaz Meadows. Jared Morello bunted his way aboard for the first Slammers hit to start the inning.

The Rascals added to their lead with an RBI single from Meadows in seventh, and then tacked on three more runs in the eighth, on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Penner, an RBI double from Braxton Martinez, and also scoring on a wild pitch.

Winkelman (3-2) finished with 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. Jason Zgardowski, Brendan Feldmann and Yeison Medina combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings out of the Rascals bullpen to close out the game.

Scot Hoffman (3-1) took the loss for Joliet, allowing four runs on ten hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.

The Rascals (15-10) and Slammers (9-16) meet in the middle game of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT from CarShield Field. Dalton Roach will take the mound for the Rascals.

TOPOOZIAN, BULLPEN DOMINATE IN GATEWAY SHUTOUT

CRESTWOOD, Ill. — After the Gateway Grizzlies’ pitching staff tossed nine innings without an earned run (but had five unearned runs score against them) Thursday, they kept it rolling Friday with their first shutout of 2019 in a 3-0 win over the Windy City ThunderBolts at Ozinga Field.

Dominic Topoozian (3-0) tossed six-plus scoreless innings and allowed only three hits. He struck out two and walked two for his third win in as many starts for the Grizzlies this season. His ERA for the year is down to 2.12.

Gateway (11-14) opened the scoring in the third inning: Cody Brickhouse doubled off the left-field wall and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Brent Sakurai, who then scored on a two-out Andrew Daniel RBI double, his Frontier League-leading 10th two-bagger and 14th extra-base hit of the season.

Brickhouse added the third Grizzlies run in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single to drive home Ryan Kirby.

For the second day in a row, the Grizzlies’ bullpen shut the door with authority. Jason SeeverDakota Smith, and Grant Black pitched a scoreless inning each. Black earned his fifth save of 2019 in six opportunities.

Over the last two games, the Grizzlies’ bullpen has thrown 6 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed only two hits with nine strikeouts and no walks. The pitching staff has worked 20 straight innings without allowing an earned run, including the entirety of the last two games.

Windy City (12-13) was held to four hits.

Brickhouse finished 2-for-3 with a double, a run, and an RBI. Shawon Dunston Jr. went 2-for-4 for the only other Grizzlies multi-hit game.

Gateway will try for its first three-game winning streak of the year Saturday at 6:05 p.m. CDT in game two of its three-game series against the ThunderBolts.

ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find – affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.

ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 10 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.

MINERS PITCH THEIR WAY TO WIN AT LAKE ERIE

Chase Cunningham tosses another quality start, Southern Illinois takes series opener

 

Avon, OH (June 7, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners received yet another quality start from Chase Cunningham on the mound, with the right-hander and two relievers combining for 14 strikeouts as they beat the Lake Erie Crushers 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel on Friday night at Sprenger Stadium.

Neither team scored in the first two innings, and after Cunningham (3-2) tossed a rare, three-pitch bottom of the second, the Miners jumped in front for good in the top of the third against Lake Erie starter Patrick Ledet (1-1). Kyle Davis led off with a single and was replaced on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Arturo Nieto. After Joe Duncan singled and Bryant Flete reached on another fielder’s choice, Jonathan Pryor came up with runners at first and third base, and smacked a go-ahead, two-run double with two outs over left fielder Zach Racusin’s head, putting Southern Illinois up 2-0.

That was all that Cunningham needed, as he shut out the Crushers on just three hits through the first five innings. In the sixth, Lake Erie used three walks, an error and a wild pitch to plate a run and make it 2-1. The Crushers then had the bases loaded and the tying run at third with just one out in the inning, but Cunningham struck out Racusin and Emmanuel Marrero to preserve the lead.

Jordan Brink came in from the bullpen after Cunningham departed in the seventh inning and struck out all five batters he faced, and Gabe Gentner worked around a two-out error in the ninth to strike out Aaron Hill swinging and earn the save as the Miners won the first game of a road series for the first time this season.

Cunningham pitched six and one-third innings and surrendered just four hits and one unearned run, walking three and striking out a Miners season-high eight to record his third-straight win on the mound, while Pryor’s game-winning double was part of a three-hit night to tie the outfielder’s career-high.

The Miners will now go for the series win in the middle game on Saturday, June 8 at Sprenger Stadium. Nick Stroud will pitch for the Miners against the Crushers’ Greyfer Eregua at 5:05 p.m.

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.

FREEDOM SHUTOUT WILD THINGS IN GAME ONE WIN

Frank Valentino tallies fourth quality start in five outings, grabs victory

WASHINGTON, Penn– On the heels of losing two straight games for the first time all season, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, combined great pitching and consistent offense in a, 4-0, blanking of the Washington Wild Things on Friday night at Wild Things Park.

The Freedom (14-10) got right to work on Washington (9-17) starter, Troy Terzi (0-1), who was making his Frontier League debut on the bump. After striking out the first man he faced as a pro, Luis Pintor greeted the right-hander with a well-placed infield single before stealing second base. Caleb Lopes would move Pintor to third with a ground-out, allowing Ausitn Wobrock to hurt his former team with a two-out RBI-single that pushed the visitor’s in front, 1-0.

After pitching around a pair of walks in the bottom of the first, Frank Valentino (2-2) would face just three more than the minimum over his final five innings of work, exiting the game after six shutout innings that featured just four hits and six strikeouts. The quality start was the fourth of the year for Valentino, who has started five games total in his first season with Florence.

The visitors would double their lead in the fourth, courtesy an RBI-double from Pintor that nearly left the yard to left-center. Brandon Pugh would score on the play, reaching base on his first of two singles for the game.

Terzi would exit stage left after four complete frames, suffering his first professional loss with a final line that included two earned runs on six hits with two walks and a pair of whiffs.

With Zack Harvey on the mound in the fifth, the Freedom would again double their lead, thanks to a two-out, two-run single from Pugh that stretched the Freedom lead to, 4-0, the eventual final. Southpaw, Josh Lapiana would take over on the hill for the Things, spanning 4.1 clean innings to finish the night, but the Washington offense would never find a rhythm on the Freedom pitching staff.

Karl Craigie and Johnathon Tripp each tallied a score-less inning of relief after Valentino would exit, preserving the first shutout victory for Florence in 2019.

These two teams will battle in the middle-game of this weekend set on Saturday, Florence trotting out right-hander, Ryan Hill opposite, righty Michael Austin of the Wild Things. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Wild Things Park.

The Florence Freedom are members of the Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY. The Freedom can be found online at florencefreedom.com, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.