The Southern Illinois Miners lost in both halves of a doubleheader on Thursday night to the Florence Freedom by final tallies of 7-2 in game one and 10-2 in game two as the homestanding Freedom took all three games of the midweek series at UC Health Stadium.
In the first game, Florence got on the board right away in the bottom of the first by scoring three runs on RBI singles by Andre Mercurio and Jordan Brower against Corey Sessions (0-1). They would add additional runs in the second and third innings for a 5-0 advantage. Freedom starter Tony Vocca (2-0) did not allow a baserunner until the top of the fourth, when Nolan Earley walked with two outs. Justin Chigbogu then hit a two-run home run over the left field fence, his first long ball of the season, to get the Miners within 5-2.
But Andrew Godbold would answer in the bottom of the frame with a two-run homer of his own to make it 7-2 to complete the scoring as Southern Illinois was defeated in the seven-inning ballgame.
In the second game, the Miners jumped on top first on a solo home run by Joel McKeithan, his second of the season, for a 1-0 advantage in the top of the second, but Florence answered in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Mercurio and Collins Cuthrell to knot the score at 1-1. Ethan Gibbons (0-1) would hold the line there that inning, and in the top of the third, Southern Illinois would take the lead again, this time 2-1 on an RBI single by Earley.
But the Freedom would respond again by batting around in the bottom half of the third, scoring five runs in the frame to take the lead, three of which came on a bases-loaded single by Garrett Vail. Florence then added on a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth inning to complete the scoring in the second game, sending the Miners to the doubleheader and series sweep on the road.
The Miners return to Rent One Park on Friday night, May 19th at 7:05 p.m. against the River City Rascals, with all coal miners getting in free by presenting their ID at the box office for Coal Miners Appreciation Weekend and Fantastic Friday Fireworks sponsored by WPSD Local 6, People's National Bank and River Radio following the game.
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.