On September 16th, 2012, the Miners hosted the Florence Freedom for Game 4 of the Frontier League Championship Series at Rent One Park. After a one-run loss in Game 3 the night before denied Southern Illinois a clean sweep of the postseason, the Miners took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning thanks to a two-run home run from Javier Herrera. But Florence would come back to tie the score late, sending the game into extra innings. Neither side could break through until the twelfth inning, when with two outs and the bases loaded, Jake Kaase drew a walk to force in the title-winning run, clinching the Miners’ first championship.
After a 3-7 start to the 2014 season through the team’s first ten games, the Miners were on a six-game winning streak entering a doubleheader against the Joliet Slammers on June 5th, 2014. In the first game, southpaw Rick Teasley toed the rubber for the Miners and he would make history seven innings later, becoming the first Miner to ever throw a no-hitter, walking two and striking out two while throwing 53 of his 82 pitches for strikes in a 2-0 Miners win. It was the team’s seventh-straight victory, and also marked the 400th win in franchise history.
On June 12th, 2015, the Miners welcomed division rival Evansville to Rent One Park to begin a three-game weekend series. They sent left-hander Matt Bywater to the mound, and the 2014 Frontier League Pitcher of the Year would turn in perhaps the best pitching performance in team history by tossing a no-hitter, the second in team history and first of nine innings in length. Walking only two and striking out ten in front of 3,487 fans in Marion, Bywater etched his name into Miners lore before being picked up by the Atlanta Braves later that season.
Entering the 2010 season, the Southern Illinois Miners were loaded with talent. Joey Metropoulos, the reigning Frontier League MVP, was in his fourth year with the team, and he was joined by future Miners all-decade team members Jereme Milons, Nate Hall, Ryan Bird, Joe Augustine and Brendan Akashian. Southern Illinois flexed their muscle early and often that season, rolling out to a 12-4 start in their first 16 games. But after a loss on June 6th at Windy City, the Miners would take it to a whole new level, embarking on a new league-record 20-game win streak that stretched from June 9th at Kalamazoo to June 28th at Florence. They entered the all-star break at an incredible 39-9, and went on to set a new franchise record with 64 wins, which also was the second-most wins in the history of the Frontier League. Their record win streak still stands to this day.
Owning the Frontier League’s best record, the Miners took the field at Rent One Park on August 30th, 2015 against the Traverse City Beach Bums needing just one more win to earn the team’s second-straight division title. The game turned out to be a pitcher’s duel, with the game tied at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth. With a runner on first and two outs, the Miners ended up getting the win they coveted in dramatic fashion, as Steve Marino hit a walk-off, two-run home run off the Beach Bums’ Chuck Ghysels, setting off a memorable celebration.
After being officially announced as an expansion franchise in the Frontier League in 2006, the Southern Illinois Miners were introduced to the region in the first game in Rent One Park history on May 29th, 2007. Three hours and one minute after Chris Tierney delivered the first pitch, the Miners defeated the Evansville Otters by a final score of 9-6.
Third baseman Chris Hall led a 14-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with a double, home run and five RBIs as the Miners got their first home win in front of a packed house of 6,251 excited fans.