The Southern Illinois Miners scored eight runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning on Sunday night against the Windy City ThunderBolts and coasted from there to an 8-2 win in the rubber game of the weekend series at Rent One Park.
With Yeltsin Gudiño on second base against Windy City starter Kenny Mathews (3-7) and two out in the initial frame, the Miners pounced. Jared Mang knocked an RBI single into right-center field to open the scoring and make it 1-0. Ian Walters then also singled, bringing up Anthony Brocato, who crushed a three-run home run to left field to make the score 4-0 Miners.
But Southern Illinois was not done there- Luke Mangieri followed Brocato's blast with a walk, and Gianfranco Wawoe singled before Arturo Nieto was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Carson Bartels then capped the enormous frame with a grand slam home run down the left field line, his second slam of the season, making the score 8-0.
That would be all Zac Westcott (7-1) would need, as the right-hander won his fifth start in a row by pitching seven innings of one-run ball on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He also got his third win of the season in three starts against his former club, as well as his Frontier League-leading seventh of the season in the lopsided game.
Brocato led the offensive charge by tying his season- and career-high with three hits, and driving in three runs on his first-inning long ball, while Bartels also drove in four to punctuate a team-wide effort offensively, with every starter in the lineup except one scoring one run apiece.
The Miners improved their record on their current nine-game home stand to 4-2 with the victory, and will welcome the Schaumburg Boomers to Rent One Park next to cap the long stretch in Marion, kicking off the three-game series in a doubleheader on Wednesday, July 28, at 6:05 p.m. Trent Johnson and Chase Cunningham are scheduled to start in the twin-bill for Southern Illinois against the Boomers' Jesse Remington and Ryan Middendorf.
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. In addition, they have sent 60 players to MLB organizations in their 14 years of operation. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.