The Southern Illinois Miners came close to tying the score in the middle frames several times on Tuesday night against the Joliet Slammers, but could not equalize before the visitors added insurance late in a 4-1 loss at Rent One Park, breaking the Miners' three-game win streak.
In the top of the first inning, former Miner London Lindley led off with an infield hit to third base and stole second before moving to third base on a wild pitch and scoring on a sacrifice fly by L.J. Kalawaia for a 1-0 lead. The Miners would tie the score in the bottom of the inning, as rookie Joe Duncan led off with an infield hit and went to second base on a wild pitch before a walk by Joe Dudek extended the inning with two outs. Romeo Cortina then banged a single into center field to plate Duncan and tie the game at 1-1.
Joliet would take the lead in the top of the second inning, however, on an RBI single by Trey Fulton that made it 2-1. Thanks to the pitching of Robby Rowland and Joliet's Liam O'Sullivan, the score remained 2-1 for most of the game. Rowland (4-2) retired 13 of 15 batters faced immediately following Fulton's single, and finished seven innings in the game with just four hits allowed and five strikeouts to keep the Miners in the contest.
Offensively, against O'Sullivan (2-2), the Miners had their chances to tie it up, as they got their leadoff man on base in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, plus moved the tying run to third base in each frame, but could not come up with the big hit to drive the runs in. In the eighth inning, Joliet took advantage of a leadoff walk and scored an insurance run on Danny Zardon's two-out single for a 3-1 lead. The Slammers then added a run in the ninth inning on another RBI hit by Fulton for the final score of 4-1.
A bright spot offensively for Southern Illinois was Duncan, who made his professional debut out of Eastern Illinois memorable by going 2-for-3 with a double, walk, and sacrifice bunt. Cortina also finished 2-for-4 with a double and the lone RBI of the night for the Miners in the home defeat.
Southern Illinois will look to bounce back in the middle game of the series against the Slammers on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Kurt Heyer will draw the assignment on the bump for the Miners, while Joliet will pitch Duke von Schamann.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's winningest 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.siminers.com.