The Southern Illinois Miners fell in the opener of their three-game weekend series on Friday night by a score of 2-0 to the Rockford Aviators at Rent One Park in Marion.
The Miners got plenty of runners on base, getting a total of eight hits in the game while also getting two runners on base in each of the first three innings and six times total in the game. But Rockford’s pitching staff, led by starter Tony Rizzotti (1-0) kept the Miners off the board throughout the night.
The Aviators struck for both of their runs on one swing in the third inning, as Tanner Witt drove in Michael Hur and Elijah Trail home with a two-out single to center field. Both runners had been hit by pitches by Miguel Ramirez (0-2), with a wild pitch moving them to second and third before Witt’s single.
The Miners were able to get the winning run to the plate with two outs in the ninth after Aaron Gates and Brendan Slattery singled and doubled, respectively, with two outs, but a groundout ended the game. The double for Slattery off the left field fence was his first professional hit. Both teams left ten runners on base in the contest, with the Miners bullpen holding the Aviators off the board in the late innings to keep the team in the ballgame.
The Miners will attempt to tie the series on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m., with a starter yet to be determined against Rockford’s Kyle Hassna.
The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2014 Frontier League East Division Champions and the 2012 Frontier League Champions. 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 2007, their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the Rent One Park box office at 618-998-8499. For any additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com