The Southern Illinois Miners again pounced on their opposition for early runs and Rick Teasley (11-5) pitched seven brilliant innings as they beat the Lake Erie Crushers 9-1 to win their seventh game in a row, ninth in their last ten, and (with a Washington loss against Evansville) their second-ever division title at All Pro Freight Stadium.
It started again in the first inning for Southern Illinois, as the first four batters reached base, with a wild pitch after Jay Austin singled and Ryan Cavan doubled, plus an RBI single by Niko Vasquez giving the Miners the early 2-0 lead. Marquis Riley would add an RBI single of his own later in the frame to make it 3-0.
Lake Erie got a run back in the bottom of the frame to make it 3-1, but the Miners would strike back with two more in the third inning. After Frank Martinez reached on an error, another single by Riley eventually drove him in, and Steve Marino doubled for the fourth time in two games to score Aaron Gates and make it 5-1.
Southern Illinois would plate yet another run on yet another Riley RBI (this time a groundout) in the fifth after Gates doubled and was balked to first. That made it 6-1, and the lead more than stood up as Teasley, Stew Brase and James Woods combined to hold the home team to just two baserunners after the first inning. Teasley would pitch seven innings, allowing just four hits and one run, with one walk and seven strikeouts, one off a season-high. He threw 97 pitches, 69 for strikes, in winning his Frontier League-leading 11th game.
The Miners would add three more in the ninth including another RBI single by Vasquez and a two-run homer by Chris Burke to complete the scoring. Austin, Cavan, Vasquez, Gates and Riley all finished with two-hit games, with Riley, Burke and Vasquez all with multi-RBI games. Each of the top six batters in the Southern Illinois order scored at least one run as well, as the Miners won their second division title as a franchise, with their previous title coming in 2010 when the team won a franchise-record 64 games.
Southern Illinois will go for their 60th win overall and eight wins in a row, plus a sweep of the Lake Erie Crushers on Thursday night to close out the regular season. Miguel Ramirez will pitch for the Miners against a starter yet to be determined for Lake Erie.