The Southern Illinois Miners dropped a 3-2 decision to the Evansville Otters on Friday night at Bosse Field in the opener of a three-game weekend road series.
Evansville plated all three of their runs in the first inning as Ryan Long led off with a double against Corey Sessions, and two batters later after a walk, Dane Phillips doubled home both runners for a 2-0 score. Three batters later, with a runner at third base and two outs, Alejandro Segovia reached on an infield hit to third base that made the score 3-0.
Sessions (2-6), however, would settle down from there to pitch three scoreless innings before departing the game, stranding runners at second and third base in the second inning and the bases loaded in the fourth frame while tying his season- and career-high with six strikeouts to keep the game close.
In the meantime, after Evansville starter Ryan Etsell (1-0) left the game following five shutout innings, the Miners got their runs in the sixth off Andrew Utterback when Romeo Cortina walked and Nolan Earley followed with a two-run blast to right field, his eighth homer of the season, to get Southern Illinois within a run at 3-2.
The Miners' bullpen of Austin Dubsky, Kyle Grana and Kyle Tinius combined to toss four hitless, scoreless innings the rest of the way to keep Southern Illinois within striking distance, but the Otters' bullpen did the same as the Miners fell in the series opener against their West Division rivals.
The Miners will look to bounce back and even the series on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m., sending Chris Washington to the mound to take on the Otters opposite Evansville right-hander Trevor Walch.
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.