The Southern Illinois Miners fell behind in the first and could not dig out of the hole against the Gateway Grizzlies, who recorded a blowout 10-1 victory at Rent One Park to clinch the weekend series in Marion.
Shawon Dunston, Jr. led off the game with a triple against Ryan McAuliffe, who was making his first appearance for the club since May 25, and scored on a groundout for a quick 1-0 lead. McAuliffe (1-1) was able to minimize the damage in both the first and second innings to a single run as Gateway led by two. Southern Illinois was then able to get the tying runs to scoring position in the bottom of the second as Jamey Smart doubled and Jarrod Watkins walked, then moved up one base each on a wild pitch by Ian Kahaloa (1-2). But the Grizzlies starter got out of trouble, and Gateway added on to pull away thereafter.
McAuliffe exited with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the third, and Matt Brown struck a three-run double to left field off Cody Thompson for a 5-0 margin. Thompson would last five and two-thirds innings in the game out of the Miners' bullpen, surrendering two runs of his own in the top of the fifth to make the score 7-0, and then allowing three more tallies in the ninth, saving the rest of the Miners' bullpen.
Southern Illinois' lone run came in the fifth, when Arturo Nieto singled to lead off and went to second base on a groundout. Joe Duncan then cranked an automatic RBI double to left-center field to make the score 7-1 at the time, but the Miners got no closer in suffering their third consecutive loss at home.
The Miners will try and avoid a sweep and get back in the win column in their final game before the all-star break against the Grizzlies at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. Tyson Cronin will make his home debut on the mound opposite Gateway's Dominic Topoozian.
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.