The Southern Illinois Miners trailed two separate times in their game on Wednesday against the Lake Erie Crushers, but came back both times, then went ahead for good on Anthony Brocato's RBI single in the top of the ninth inning in a 5-3 win at Sprenger Stadium, evening their midweek series at one game apiece.
Brett Siddall got the Miners in front early against Lake Erie ace Alex Romero, hitting a solo home run out to right-center field in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. The Crushers would respond with two outs against Chase Cunningham in the bottom of the second, as Emmanuel Marrero homered, Sebastian Diaz doubled, and Bryan De La Rosa singled to bring in two runs and make it 2-1 Crushers.
Southern Illinois was able to tie the game when, with two outs in the fourth inning, Andy Cosgrove's fly ball to deep center field was dropped for an error by Bodie Bryan, allowing Kyle Davis to sprint home from first base and make it 2-2. Lake Erie would again take the lead at 3-2 on Dale Burdick's RBI single in the sixth inning, but Brocato would knot the score with a home run to right-center field in the top of the seventh inning, his second long ball in three starts for Southern Illinois.
Both Romero and Cunningham completed seven innings and left with the game tied at 3-3, with Cunningham fanning five in a quality start. In the top of the ninth inning, Chris Iriart hit a fly ball to deep right field that was dropped by Diaz for an error, and went to third base on a wild pitch. After Cosgrove was hit by a pitch with one out to put runners at first and third base, Brocato came up again, and came up clutch with an RBI single up the middle to put the Miners ahead 4-3. Joe Duncan followed with a sacrifice fly for a 5-3 cushion entering the bottom of the ninth.
Lake Erie attempted a rally in the frame, loading the bases on a hit batter, fielder's choice and error, plus a walk with just one out, putting the tying runs in scoring position and the potential winning run on base. But Nick Duron shut the door by getting De La Rosa to hit into a fielder's choice and striking out Bryan looking to end the game.
Brocato led the charge by going 3-for-4 in the game with a double, home run and two RBIs to continue a torrid first week with the Miners, while Siddall reached base four times and went 2-for-2 with a double, a home run, a run scored and an RBI as the Miners improved to 2-3 on the year. They will face off against the Crushers in a rubber match on Thursday morning at 10:05 a.m., with Chase Adkins pitching for Southern Illinois against Lake Erie southpaw Jared Koenig before the Miners return home to Marion for their home opener on Friday night 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.