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.