MARION, Ill. – The Southern Illinois Miners broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the 12th inning on a three-run home run by Ryan Lashley in a 7-5, extra-inning win over the River City Rascals at CarShield Field in O’Fallon, Missouri, taking the series two games to one in the rubber match between the division rivals.
It was the Rascals who scored first, as they bunched three singles together in the third inning off Chris Washington and went ahead 1-0 on Josh Silver’s hit. But in the top of the next inning, with a man on first, consecutive two-out hits by Anthony Critelli and Marc Flores set up Ben Moore, who drove home two with a single of his own with the bases loaded to give Southern Illinois its first lead at 2-1 in the fourth. In the fifth inning, the Rascals scored an unearned run on an RBI single by Braxton Martinez to knot the score at 2-2.
Southern Illinois would go ahead in the top of the sixth inning, as they loaded the bases on two walks and a single before Craig Massey broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2. With men at first and third base, Southern Illinois then executed a double-steal, with Moore swiping second and Flores stealing home to make it 4-2. But the Rascals would tie the score, as they chased Washington with two leadoff walks in the bottom of the sixth. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over to second and third, back-to-back RBI singles by Jason Merjano and Jimmy Kerrigan tied the game at 4-4. With the potential go-ahead run at third and just one out, however, Kyle Tinius induced Silver to ground into an inning-ending double play, keeping the score tied.
With the game turned over to the bullpens, both teams’s relief corps held the other team off the board, with Nick Palacios tossing two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth and Chris DeBoo working out of trouble and stranding the bases loaded in the ninth. John Werner (2-0) pitched flawless frames in the tenth and eleventh along with four strikeouts, with neither team scoring with the International Tiebreaker in effect in the eleventh inning.
That changed in the twelfth, as Massey singled to move the automatic runner to third base leading off the inning. After a strikeout, Lashley came up and hammered the first pitch from Matt Chavarria (2-2) over the left field wall to make it 7-4. In the bottom half, Corey Sessions earned the save by permitting just one run to score, his first pro save in his first pro relief appearance as the Miners won the series.
Southern Illinois next moves on to Evansville to face another West Division rival in the Otters beginning on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. Tyler Stubblefield will take the hill for the Miners while Felix Baez will pitch the series opener for Evansville.
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.