The Southern Illinois Miners went back and forth with the Windy City ThunderBolts on Sunday afternoon at Standard Bank Stadium, but despite taking a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning on Chance Shepard's 19thhomer of the season, they could not hold it as Windy City again came back and took the lead for good in the sixth, piling on later to win 7-4 and sweep the season series from the Miners.
A sacrifice fly by Kyle Davis got the Miners on the board first in the top of the second inning, but the ThunderBolts came back to tie the score and then take a 2-1 lead on back-to-back two-out, RBI singles by Joe Becht and Omar Obregon against Austin Dubsky. In the third inning, the Miners tied the score at 2-2 when Max Dutto launched a solo home run down the right field line. Then, after a scoreless bottom of the third inning by Dubsky, Southern Illinois regained a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Windy City starter Connor Bach walked Joe Duncan with the bases loaded.
The ThunderBolts would knot the score on yet another two-out RBI hit, this time by Ronnie Healy, at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Shepard then responded in the fifth inning by crushing his 19th home run of the season, a tiebreaking solo shot, out to left field for a 4-3 Miners advantage.
But yet again, Windy City rallied with two outs in an inning, and in the sixth, with a man on base, Larry Balkwill hit his second two-run homer in as many games against the Miners, giving Windy City a 5-4 lead. After the Miners got the first two men on base in the seventh inning with no one out but could not score, three singles and a sacrifice fly allowed the ThunderBolts to pad their lead with two more runs against Kyle Tinius for the final margin.
Nolan Earley doubled and went 2-for-5 for Southern Illinois, while Dutto, Davis, Shepard and Duncan added RBIs in the contest, but it was not enough as the Miners dropped all six meetings against Windy City on the season. The
Southern Illinois returns home to start a home series against the Evansville Otters on Tuesday night, August 7th, at 7:05 p.m. Geno Encina will get the ball in the series opener against the Otters' Austin Nicely.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's winningest 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.siminers.com.