MARION, IL–After waiting nearly two and-a-half hours for a pitch to be thrown, by midnight, the River City Rascals and Southern Illinois Miners ended up getting both ends of their doubleheader in on Saturday night at Rent One Park. Stormy weather delayed the first game from starting until 7:15. When the dust settled, both the Miners and Rascals got a victory, with the Rascals getting the last laugh.
The Miners earned a walk-off 4-3 win in the opener, winning on a bloop single to right field with the bases loaded from John Holland. The Rascals had jumped out to a 3-0 lead by scoring three runs in the second inning, on an RBI double from Clint Freeman and RBI singles from Taylor Love and Stephen Kerr. The Miners got a solo homer from Luis Jean in the fifth and tied the game on a two-run homer from Chance Shepard in the sixth.
Josh Kimborowicz started the opener for the Rascals, and went five innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out four. Right-hander Ethan Westphal (0-1) took the loss. For the Minters, Geno Encina went six innings and also allowed three runs. Reliever Kyle Tinius (1-0) earned the win.
In the nightcap, which got underway shortly before 10 pm CT, Rascals starter Dan Ludwig (1-1) and Miners starter Williams Perez (0-1), a former Atlanta Braves pitcher, settled into a pitchers duel. Ludwig went five innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out four. Perez allowed two earned runs in five innings, striking out seven.
The Miners jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on RBI double from Joe Dudak and RBI single from Conor Sullivan in the second inning. The Rascals countered with two of their own in the third. Love led off the inning with a single, followed by a double from Jeremy Glore. Kerr singled home Love and Mike Jurgella brought home Glore on a sacrifice fly. The Rascals took the lead in the fifth, after Glore scored from third on an attempted delayed double steal. The throw home beat Glore, but got past the catcher Sullivan on a throwing error from Miners shortstop Jean. The Rascals tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on an inside-the-park homer from Zach Lavy.
Cody Mincey earned the save to close the game out. He survived a bases loaded scare and ended up striking out the side.
The Rascals (4-3) play the Miners (4-4) tomorrow night in the series finale, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 pm CT. Scott Grist will start for the Rascals. Ryne Buchanan will have the call on CityLink TV, with coverage starting at 4:55.