The Southern Illinois Miners lost 3-2 in eleven innings on Saturday to the Joliet Slammers, evening the weekend series at one game apiece at Rent One Park.
The visitors took the lead almost immediately against Chase Cunningham, as Dash Winningham's RBI double in the first inning scored Riley Krane from first base and made it 1-0. That lead was increased to 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Chaz Meadows singled home Harrison Bragg, but the all-star Cunningham was able to minimize the damage to just those two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings for his eleventh-straight "quality start."
He was in line for the loss despite the strong performance, but the Miners would come back. In the fourth inning, Kyle Davis led off with a walk and went to third base on a fielder's choice plus an error on Bragg on a ground ball by Jamey Smart. A sacrifice fly by Alex Santana then cut the deficit in half and made it 2-1, but the Miners would be unable to equalize until the eighth inning.
With one out in the bottom of the frame, Gianfranco Wawoe smacked his eighth home run of the season, a solo shot off Mario Samuel (3-1) to tie the game at 2-2. The game went to extra innings still knotted at 2-2, and after Samuel and Jake Godfrey (1-1) tossed scoreless innings in the tenth, Godfrey got two outs in the eleventh with the International Tiebreaker in effect before Bragg hit a go-ahead RBI single off the left field wall.
With the score 3-2, the Miners were unable to move the tying run off of second base in the bottom half as they suffered the defeat, their first in extra innings at home this season. Southern Illinois was held to just four hits offensively, with Wawoe accounting for two of those in a 2-for-5 performance, while also leaving ten runners on base for the game.
The Miners will look to bounce back on Sunday, July 14, at 5:05 p.m. in the rubber game of the three-game series. Ryan McAuliffe will pitch for the Miners while Matt Quintana will throw for Joliet.
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.