The Southern Illinois Miners saw their offense scuffle for the second day in a row at Wuerfel Park in Traverse City against the Beach Bums, as they dropped the rubber match of the three-game series 5-1 on Thursday night.
Southern Illinois again received a brilliant start on the mound, this time from Steven Ridings, who permitted just three hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings, walking one and striking out 11, a new Miners season-high by a single pitcher. The Beach Bums edged in front in the third inning, as after Kendall Patrick reached on an error by Harrison Bragg, then moved to third base on a groundout, he scored on Isaac Benard's two-out hit, making the score 1-0.
Thanks to Ridings (4-4) keeping the Beach Bums off balance with his strikeouts piling up, the score stayed 1-0 until the sixth, when a leadoff hit batter led eventually to another two-out RBI hit by Luke Lowery to make the score 2-0.
The Miners' offense had opportunities to score early against Traverse City starter Matt Murphy (2-2), loading the bases with two outs in the first, and getting Joe Duncan to second base with one out in the third. In the latter scenario, Nolan Earley singled up the middle, but a perfect throw from Connor Oliver in center field nabbed Duncan at the plate. They broke through in the top of the seventh, as after Romeo Cortina and Joe Dudek opened the frame with singles, two batters later, Kyle Davis singled up the middle to bring Southern Illinois within 2-1.
But they could get no closer, and the Beach Bums added on three runs before the first out was made in the eighth inning on four straight hits to push the lead out to 5-1. John Werner came in and struck out three straight batters to keep it a four-run game, but Southern Illinois was retired in order in the ninth to close the game and the series.
The Miners return home on Friday night, July 6th, to open their final series before the all-star break at 7:05 p.m. against the Windy City ThunderBolts. Austin Dubsky will pitch for the Miners while Windy City will go with Zac Westcott.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's winningest 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. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.siminers.com.