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Cunningham wins No. 37, Miners top Y'Alls 8-0
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Cunningham wins No. 37, Miners top Y'Alls 8-0

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Miners left fielder Anthony Brocato sends the ball into play during the Southern Illinois Miners game against the Gateway Grizzlies at Rent One Park on Thursday in Marion.

MARION — Chase Cunningham moved into a tie for third place on the Frontier League's all-time wins list without his best stuff Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-hander allowed one hit in five innings but tied his season high with three walks in the Southern Illinois Miners' 8-0 win over Florence. Cunningham struck out five and won his 13th career game as a Miner, and his 37th in the league, in his 89th start.

It was a bit shorter than usual, five innings at Rent One Park, but effective.

Jordan Brower's two-out single to right in the second inning was all the Y'Alls (30-19) could muster against the 2019 Frontier League Pitcher of the Year.

Cunningham (3-1) only allowed one guy to reach second base, Brower, who did so off a wild pitch, and struck out five.

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The Miners (27-22) put up four runs in the fifth to blow it open and pull within three games of the West Division leaders.

Former Saluki Ian Walters drove in Nolan Earley from third base with a single to left, one of three hits on the night by the former SIU third baseman. Anthony Brocato followed with another RBI single for a 4-0 lead.

Y'Alls reliever Grant Hockin got the next two batters out, inducing a fielder's choice off the bat of Luke Mangieri and striking out Arturo Nieto, but couldn't escape without further damage. Second baseman Jarrod Watkins, the Miners' No. 9 hitter, singled into the gap in left-center field to make it 6-0.

The Miners added two more in the eighth off Brocato's 2-RBI single. Brocato went 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs.

Kevin Hahn (3-2) took the loss for the Y'Alls, who dropped their second straight game in the four-game series. Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Hahn allowed two runs off six hits in four innings.

Florence had to play the last three innings without their starting designated hitter and manager Brian White. Reliever Stevie Ledesma threw a 3-2 slider that hugged the outside of the plate to strike out Brower in the sixth. Home plate umpire David Bailey punched him out on a slightly delayed call, and Brower let him know how displeased he was about it before Bailey threw him out of the game. White came over and was later ejected, too.

todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com

618-351-5087 / On Twitter: @THefferman

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