The Southern Illinois Miners received outstanding pitching from Austin Dubsky and three relievers, as he out-dueled former teammate Chris Washington and the Windy City ThunderBolts in a 5-0 victory to help the Miners take the weekend series at Rent One Park on Saturday night.
Dubsky (1-1) worked out of trouble in the early frames, as Windy City got a runner to third base with less than two outs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but could not score against the third-year Miners right-hander. For the game, Dubsky scattered seven hits across six strong innings of work, walking just one while striking out four to earn his first victory of the season.
Offensively, the Miners pounced on the former Southern Illinois left-hander Washington (0-2) with four consecutive hits in the third inning. With one out, Anthony Brocato hit the first of his two triples on the night to left-center field, and Arturo Nieto's RBI single to right field brought him in for a 1-0 lead. Three pitches later, Cletis Avery smacked a two-run home run to left field for his first professional homer, which put the Miners up 3-0.
That lead would hold up, and Southern Illinois added onto it in the fifth inning when Stephen Lohr hit a two-out single to center field and Chris Iriart followed by blasting a two-run home run of his own to center field, his first long ball as a Miner, to extend the lead to 5-0.
After Dubsky departed, the Miners' bullpen continued to hold the ThunderBolts off the board, as Gabe Gentner, Heath Renz, and Nick Duron combined to allow just one base-runner in the final three innings to finish off the game. Brocato and Avery enjoyed two-hit nights offensively while Avery and Iriart drove in two runs apiece. Every Miners batter except one had at least one hit in the contest, with the victory putting the Miners at 4-4 on the season with their first series win against Windy City since 2015.
The Miners will now go for a three-game sweep on Sunday night at 5:05 p.m. against the ThunderBolts, sending Ryan McAuliffe to the mound in the series finale to take on Windy City's Adam Oller 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. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.