(Photo Credit: Carmen Arrigo/Arrigo Images)
The Southern Illinois Miners fell to the Joliet Slammers on the road for the third straight night, as a four-run rally cost the Miners a chance to avoid a sweep by a final score of 5-4.
Leading for the entire game, and up 4-1 in the ninth, reliever Matt Miller hit the first two batters in the ninth inning, igniting the rally for Joliet (3-0). Two singles later in the inning tied the game, and after two more batters were hit, a walk-off sacrifice fly by C.J. Epperson ended the game.
Once again, the Miners received a strong start, this time from southpaw Rick Teasley. The second-year pro tossed six innings of one-run ball, the second-straight quality start after Miguel Ramirez’s 6 1/3 inning, zero run performance on Saturday. Teasley walked two and struck out four, throwing 61 of 90 pitches for strikes.
The Miners offense continued to produce at the plate as well. Jon Eisen remained red-hot with his third-straight two-hit game to begin the season, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Eisen is hitting .462 through the first three games.
Ryan Cavan and Phil Butler also recorded two-hit games, with Butler smacking two long doubles in two consecutive at-bats. Chris Burke hit a two-run single as part of a three-run fifth inning for the Miners, which gave them a 4-0 lead at the time before Joliet’s late comeback.
The Miners return home to begin a six-game homestand against the Schaumburg Boomers and Lake Erie Crushers. The Crushers swept Schaumburg over the weekend. First pitch at Rent One Park on Tuesday against the Boomers is set for 7:05 p.m. The Miners will start Tyler Lavigne, with Schaumburg countering with Seth Webster.