The Southern Illinois Miners' offense exploded on Sunday afternoon, amassing 15 hits and scoring 13 runs to take control early and never look back en route to a 13-2 rout of the Evansville Otters in the finale of their weekend series, the team's first win of the young 2019 season.
The Miners' bats got going right away in the first inning- Gianfranco Wawoe led off with a double, and was driven home when Brett Siddall followed with a triple of his own to make it 1-0. Stephen Lohr brought in Siddall with a groundout for an early 2-0 lead, but the Miners would pull away in the subsequent innings against Otters starter Austin Nicely (0-1).
In the second inning, Alex Santana and Kyle Davis singled, and Anthony Brocato walked to set up Joe Duncan, who promptly cleared the bases with a triple to make the score 5-0 Southern Illinois. Lohr's sacrifice fly later in the inning increased the advantage to 6-0. Then in the third, the Miners scored three more runs, the first two on a single by Brocato- his first professional hit- and the last on a sacrifice fly by Duncan to push the advantage out to 9-0 after just three innings.
Meanwhile, Steven Ridings dominated on the mound in his first start of the season. The right-hander retired the first eight batters he faced, and shut out the Otters by allowing just five singles and no walks over six strong innings. Ridings (1-0) capped his outing by striking out six to earn the win, and received plenty more run support from the offense in the middle frames.
The Miners were able to tack on to their lead by way of the long ball, as Brocato hit a solo shot in the fifth and Davis went yard for the second time in the weekend series in the sixth inning, a two-run blast that pushed the Miners' lead out to 12-0. After the Otters got two back in the seventh on a home run by Hunter Cullen, Lohr drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth for the game's final run and the final 13-2 score.
Wawoe tied a career high with four hits, going 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, and Davis finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs, while Brocato enjoyed a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored and three RBIs in his first professional start. Duncan also tied a career-high with four runs batted in as the Miners, held to just two hits in each of the first two games of the series, pounded out 15 hits as a club, including seven for extra bases. The victory ended a nine-game slide for the Miners at Bosse Field dating back to August of 2017.
The Miners continue their season-opening road trip on Tuesday morning, taking on the Lake Erie Crushers at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio at 10:05 a.m. in the first of a three-game midweek set.
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. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.