The Southern Illinois Miners yet again came back from an early deficit against the Florence Y'alls on Wednesday night at Rent One Park, then also tied the game in the eighth inning, but gave up the winning run in the ninth in a 5-4 loss that eliminated them from playoff contention in 2021.
Florence scored two runs in the first inning on a home run by Luis Pintor after a leadoff walk by Michael Austin, but the Miners starter settled in after that, retiring the next seven Y'alls he faced. After the visitors got another run across on a two-out RBI single by Chad Sedio in the top of the third, the Miners would get on the board in the bottom half, also with two outs thanks to a double by Jamey Smart, making the score 3-1.
Then, with the bases empty and two outs against Florence starter Jared Cheek in the fourth inning, the Miners tied the game- Jared Mang reached on an infield single and Arturo Nieto smacked a double into right field to put the tying runs in scoring position before Yeltsin Gudiño doubled them both home to make the score 3-3.
That would hold until the top of the sixth, when Florence used an RBI single by Harrison DiNicola to take a 4-3 advantage. In the eighth, after Blake Stelzer held the Y'alls off the board by stranding the bases loaded, the Miners got to work in the bottom half. Ariel Sandoval led off with an infield hit, and Smart singled to put two runners on base before Anthony Brocato sacrificed the runners into scoring position. After a pitching change, Ian Walters walked to load the bases, and Mang beat a relay throw to first base on a ground ball for a fielder's choice, scoring Sandoval and tying the game at 4-4.
But a leadoff double in the ninth inning by Jordan Brower turned into the winning run when he was sacrificed to third base and then driven in on a sacrifice fly by Jose Brizuela, making it 5-4. Gudiño led off with an infield hit to put the tying run on base in the bottom half, but the Miners could not score in suffering the bitter defeat, which coupled with an Evansville win eliminated the Miners from playoff contention.
Southern Illinois will look to avoid a sweep on Thursday night, September 9, at 7:05 p.m. Jake Fisher will start on the mound in the series finale for the Miners against Florence right-hander Frank Valentino.
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.