The Southern Illinois Miners swept the Schaumburg Boomers on Sunday night at Rent One Park, earning a 5-2 result to win their sixth game in a row and finish off a perfect 6-0 home stand for the fourth time in their history.
Schaumburg was able to get things going early against Chase Cunningham, as Matt McGarry tripled off the right field fence and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Dawson to give the visitors a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. That lead, however, would not last long, as in the bottom of the second inning, Anthony Brocato led off with a double against former Miner Jesse Remington (3-2), and would later score on an RBI single by Jared Mang to knot it up at 1-1. Later in the inning with two outs, Carson Bartels walked, and Arturo Nieto followed by blasting a three-run home run to right-center field, putting Southern Illinois ahead 4-1.
Nieto's first home run of the season also put the Miners ahead for good as it turned out, as Cunningham (5-3) pitched another "quality start," striking out seven in six innings of work while allowing just two runs. The Boomers scored their second run off him in the top of the fourth on a triple from Braxton Davidson and an RBI single by Brett Milazzo to make it 4-2. They also put the tying runs in scoring position with only one out in the top of the sixth inning, but the Miners ace right-hander struck out both Luke Becker and Nick Oddo to preserve the two-run lead.
Brocato then gave the Miners insurance by hitting his second home run of the series in the bottom of the sixth, a solo shot to left field off reliver Ryder Yakel, to complete the scoring. The Miners' bullpen was again stout in relief of Cunningham, as Kenny Pierson, Augie Voight, and Joey Pulido combined to retire nine of the ten batters they faced, with Pulido earning his team-best seventh save with a scoreless ninth.
With the win, the Miners remained 2.5 games back of first place in the Frontier League West Division. Individually, the victory was Cunningham's fifth of the season, and the 39th of his Frontier League career, putting him in second place all-time behind league hall-of-famer Aaron Ledbetter.
Having tied their longest win streak of the season with the perfect home stand, Southern Illinois will look to keep momentum going when they embark on a six-game road trip beginning on Tuesday, August 24, with the first of a three-game series in Avon, Ohio against the Lake Erie Crushers. Gunnar Kines will begin the series for the Miners on the mound at Mercy Health Stadium, opposed by Crushers right-hander Jake Pilarski at 5:35 p.m.
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.