The River City Rascals (18-17) scored eight unanswered runs en route to an 8-2 victory over the
Southern Illinois Miners (14-21) Wednesday afternoon in front of a season high 3, 807 fans at
The win snapped a three game losing streak and the Rascals avoided falling under the .500
mark for the first time in two weeks.
The game didn’t start out the way the home team wanted it to though as the opponent struck
first against Rascals starter Reese Gregory. With one out and a runner on first, Miners third
baseman Ryan Lashley clubbed the team’s fourth two-run home run of the series and put his
team on top 2-0.
Gregory halted the Miners offense right there and went on to toss a stellar outing and earned his
third win of the year which is tied for the team lead.
Following the long ball, Gregory allowed just four hits the remainder of the day and finished with
a line of eight innings, allowing two runs, earned, on six hits and struck out three.
“Early on they were attacking and putting good swings on the ball,” Gregory said. “It caused us
to rethink the game plan and then we started to mix up the pitches more and try to keep them
off balance as much as possible.”
“Reese being able to shut down the scoring after the two-run shot was huge,” manager Steve
Brook said. “They had won four straight coming into today and after pounding us last night with
home runs they came right back at it in their first opportunity. I even said before the game the
way we were going to win is if we don’t give up home runs and although we gave up one, it
wasn’t three like last night.”
His offense picked him up in the third inning and he was able to pitch with the lead from then on.
On the mound for the Miners was southpaw Kody Knaus and he walked Johnny Morales to
begin the third. Merjano followed that up with a single that got Morales to third and then a balk
on Knaus allowed Morales to score the Rascals first run of the game.
Merjano also moved over to third due to the mistake and then another quality at-bat by Jimmy
Kerrigan resulting in a sacrifice fly tied the game at two.
Josh Silver and Braxton Martinez followed that up with back-to-back singles and then an error
on Miners second baseman Brett Wiley brought in Silver which would go on to be the winning
Knaus would only face one more batter the rest of his start and it would be Josh Ludy who
recorded a RBI double for his first of three hits.
Knaus would go on to take the loss allowing four runs, earned, on six hits and walked two in 2.2
The Rascals took that 4-1 lead and piled up more runs later in the game highlighted by a
two-run home run from Brandon Thomas in the sixth inning, his fourth round tripper of the year.
The home run was against Miners reliever Austin Dubsky and he finished his outing being
tagged for three earned runs after a RBI single from Jimmy Kerrigan. Righty John Lollar gave up
the eighth and final run due to a RBI double from Johnny Morales in the seventh inning, which
gave him two hits on the afternoon.
In total, the Rascals tallied 14 hits, three away from their season high of 17 set back on June 6th
Leading the way was Josh Ludy with three hits and then four other players had a pair: Josh
Silver, Clint Freeman, Jimmy Kerrigan and Johnny Morales. The first of Silver’s two hits was a
double and it extended his hitting streak to a team high 21 games.
“I think as the season goes on and the more at-bats you get you begin to get really comfortable
and I feel like as a team we are getting to that point in the season where more and more people
are hitting the ball well on a more consistent basis,” hitting coach and catcher Josh Ludy said.
The victory sets up the rubber match on Thursday and the Rascals have a chance to improve to
5-1 in series played at home. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.