The Southern Illinois Miners put up a big offensive performance in their penultimate game of the 2019 season, rapping out 16 hits and plating double-digit runs while also coming back from an early deficit in a 10-2 thrashing of the Evansville Otters at Rent One Park, evening the weekend series at one game apiece.
The Otters scored in the top of the first inning without the aid of a hit, as Keith Grieshaber drew a walk against Frank Moscatiello, then stole second base, went to third on the same play thanks to a throwing error, and came home on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. But unlike the night before, the Otters' lead would not last long. With two outs and the bases clear against Evansville starter Anthony Arias (2-2) in the bottom of the second inning, the Miners loaded the bases on a Jarrod Watkins single and walks by Sergio Lopez and Yeltsin Gudino before Gianfranco Wawoe laced a double to right field that cleared the bases and put the Miners up 3-1. Jamey Smart added a subsequent RBI single to plate Wawoe and put the home team up 4-1.
That was all that Moscatiello (2-0) needed in what became a career-best start for the right-hander, but Southern Illinois was not done scoring. After Evansville got a run back in the top of the third to make it a 4-2 game, the Miners loaded the bases in the bottom half for Gudino, whose two-out single plated two more runs and made it 6-2. Then, in the fifth inning, Watkins brought in another run with a sacrifice fly, and Lopez followed by doubling to left field to increase the lead to 8-2.
The Miners capped the scoring in the bottom of the eighth, when Watkins and Lopez picked up one more RBI apiece on a single and bases-loaded walk, respectively, for the final 10-2 margin. Moscatiello made all the offense stand up by pitching a career-high seven innings, and allowing only three hits and two runs with three walks and seven strikeouts, earning his second victory of the season in the process.
Offensively, several players had outstanding individual days at the plate- Watkins led the way with a career-high four hits, going 4-for-4 in the game. Joe Duncan and Wawoe each had three hits in the contest, with the former going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and the latter also finishing 3-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs. Gudino and Smart also chipped in multi-hit performances as Southern Illinois evened the series in emphatic fashion.
The Miners will conclude their 2019 season on Sunday, September 1, at 5:05 p.m. in the rubber game of the series against the Otters, looking to take the set at Rent One Park before heading into the offseason.
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.