Southern Illinois loses four-run lead in opener, shutout in nightcap
Marion, IL (June 27, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners dropped both ends of their doubleheader on Thursday night against the Windy City ThunderBolts, losing in seven innings in both contest by scored of 6-5 and 3-0 to drop their first home series of the season at Rent One Park.
Things started off well for Southern Illinois in game one, as Gianfranco Wawoe’s two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning extended his hit streak to 13 and put the Miners ahead 2-0. In the third inning, Southern Illinois loaded the bases on three walks in a row leading off before Andy Cosgrove doubled to right field for a 4-0 advantage after three innings.
But that was where the good feelings ended for the Miners in Marion. Windy City scored four times in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game against Cody Thompson and Andrew Bernstein, and then took the lead for good in the next inning when Brynn Martinez led off with a walk against Bernstein (1-1) and stole second base before scoring on Tyler Alamo’s RBI double. In the sixth, they added another run to lead 6-4, and the Miners attempted to rally back in the bottom of the seventh by loading the bases with one out for Stephen Lohr, whose sacrifice fly cut the deficit to one at 6-5 and put the tying run at third base. But two batters later, Jarrod Watkins grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.
In game two, the ThunderBolts jumped on Greg Marino early, as a leadoff error was followed by a Martinez RBI triple and an Alamo RBI double, with a wild pitch and an RBI groundout by Chase Cockrell making the score 3-0 immediately. That would be the only offense Windy City would muster in the game, as Marino (1-1) settled down from there to throw five innings and allow just two other hits with four strikeouts and only one walk.
But Southern Illinois’ bats were nearly completely silenced by Cole Bellair (2-1), as the rookie right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and after a pair of walks to Lohr and Cosgrove that frame, Arturo Nieto singled up the middle with two outs to load the bases and chase Bellair from the game. But a strikeout of Joe Duncan by Connor Mayes ended the contest as the Miners were shut out for the first time this season and lost back-to-back home games for the first time in 2019.
Southern Illinois will look to bounce back on the road when they head to Sauget to take on the Gateway Grizzlies this weekend, with Chase Cunningham on the mound tomorrow, Friday, June 28, in the series opener at GCS Credit Union Ballpark against the Grizzlies’ Jordan Barrett.