The Southern Illinois Miners lost the rubber game of their three-game weekend series at DuPage Medical Group Field to the Joliet Slammers in a home run derby, with a final tally of 5-2 in the special ending after tying the home team 1-1 through 10 innings.
The game was a pitcher's duel throughout. Michael Austin was able to pitch six shutout innings on the mound for the Miners, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out a season-high eight batters to hold the Slammers at bay. His counterpart Logan Lyle did the same for Joliet, blanking the Miners over six frames with six strikeouts and three walks.
Southern Illinois had chances to score with runners on base in the game- in the first inning, Bryant Flete led off with a single and Carson Bartels was hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch advanced them to second and third base, Ariel Sandoval was robbed of a hit by Joliet third baseman Patrick Causa and Nolan Earley struck out to end the threat. The Miners also stranded runners in scoring position in the fifth and seventh innings.
Joliet also left two runners in scoring position in the first inning, and stranded a runner at third base in both the third and eighth inning. Austin was followed by scoreless innings from Trent Johnson in the seventh, Blake Stelzer in the eighth, and Joey Pulido in the ninth, sending the contest to extra innings in a scoreless tie.
In the tenth, with the International Tiebreaker in effect, Flete walked to lead off, and Bartels sacrificed him and automatic runner Yeltsin Gudiño to second and third base. Earley was intentionally walked to load the bases for Sandoval, and he hit a sacrifice fly to center field for a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half, the Slammers also scored their automatic runner on a sacrifice fly, sending the game to a home run derby. Earley and Flete hit one home run each, while the Slammers' Brylie Ware and Carson Maxwell combine for five to give Joliet the win.
The Miners return to Marion to begin a six-game home stand on Tuesday, August 17, hosting the Evansville Otters for the opener of a three-game series, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. at Rent One Park.
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.