Washington, PA (June 5, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners battled the Washington Wild Things on Wednesday night, and after seeing a late lead slip away in the ninth, scored two runs in extra innings, including Bryant Flete’s single in the top of the fourteenth which put them ahead to stay in a marathon 5-4 win at Wild Things Park.
Marty Anderson set the tone on the mound for the Miners by shutting out the Wild Things over the first six innings on just three hits with seven strikeouts in his third start with the Miners. A wild pitch by Washington starter Nick Wegmann brought Flete home in the third inning for a 1-0 lead, and Alex Santana’s first home run as a Miner in the sixth inning doubled that lead to 2-0.
Anderson departed after allowing a leadoff double to Mikael Mogues in the seventh inning, and that run eventually scored to make it 2-1, but the Miners got it back against all-star closer Zack Strecker in the top of the ninth when Stephen Lohr doubled to score Arturo Nieto and make it 3-1. As it turned out, that run was critical, as after J.J. Fernandez walked against Nick Duron with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Mogues hit a two-run home run to tie the game and send it to extra frames.
Neither team was able to score in the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth innings, the latter two of which with the International Tiebreaker in effect as Duron and former Miner Nick Durazo dueled on the mound in the bonus frames. A sacrifice fly by Santana in the top of the thirteenth made it 4-3 Miners, but Hector Roa re-tied the score in the bottom half, also with a sacrifice fly, pushing the game into the fourteenth and final inning.
Joe Moran bunted automatic runner Joe Duncan to third base leading off the frame to set up Flete, who drove Duncan in with the go-ahead RBI single to make it 5-4 and tie a career high with his fifth hit of the game. In the bottom half, Mogues walked against Andrew Bernstein, who was in his third inning of work out of the bullpen, to put runners at first and second base. But with the tying and winning runs on base, Bernstein (1-0) bore down, striking out Blake Adams, Ryan Cox, and Brett Marr to finish off the Wild Things and secure the win, the longest game in terms of innings played for the club since August of 2014.
Flete finished 5-for-7 in the game, finishing just one hit shy of tying a Miners and Frontier League record for hits in a game, while Lohr doubled twice in going 2-for-7 and Santana finished with two RBIs in the contest. Bernstein and Duron struck out four batters each in relief as the Miners’ pitching staff held the Wild Things to just five hits in the game and set a new single-game team record by striking out 18 batters as a unit.
Southern Illinois will go for the series win in the rubber game at Washington on Thursday, June 6, at 6:05 p.m.