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Miners score 12 runs to back Kines' stellar start

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Southern Illinois Miners Carson Bartels (1) is greeted at the dugout after scoring in the third inning during the first game of a doubleheader against Schaumburg at Rent One Park on Wednesday in Marion.

SAUGET – The Southern Illinois Miners pounded out 12 runs on 11 hits to back a dominant start from Gunnar Kines on the mound in a 12-0 rout of the Gateway Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

The victory snapped a five-game losing skid and evened the series at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget.

Nolan Earley began the scoring in the top of the first inning with two outs, hitting a solo home run to right-center field off Grizzlies starter Matt Mulhearn (1-2) to make it 1-0. Two innings later, Luke Mangieri would do the same, smashing a solo shot with two outs in the third to double the lead to 2-0. In the fourth inning, a two out rally scored three more Southern Illinois runs on RBI hits by Jared Mang and Arturo Nieto, making the score 5-0. An Ariel Sandoval sacrifice fly added another tally in the fifth inning for a 6-0 lead, and Jarrod Watkins then hit his first professional home run in the sixth inning to extend the advantage out to 8-0.

Meanwhile, Kines (2-3) enjoyed one of the best starts of his decorated Frontier League career. He worked around leadoff walks in the first and third innings while striking out 10 batters in his first five frames of work on the night. He retired 12 straight Grizzlies batters from the third inning through the sixth, and carried a no-hitter into the seventh before a leadoff single off the glove of a leaping Watkins by Abdiel Diaz broke it up.

The left-hander got a double-play ground ball on the very next pitch, however, and finished the night with seven one-hit, shutout innings. Kines had two walks, and a career-high 12 strikeouts on a night where he also passed former Miner Tyler Lavigne to move into fifth place in Frontier League history in career strikeouts. In addition, he surpassed 400 career innings pitched in the league during the game.

The Miners would complete the scoring by adding four more runs in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Mang and a three-run homer by Mangieri in the 12-0 victory. Mangieri led the charge with a pair of homers and a season-high four RBIs on the night, with Watkins finishing with two RBIs and three runs scored. Four Miners had multiple runs scored and four had multiple RBIs as Southern Illinois broke their five-game slide in emphatic fashion, out-hitting the Grizzlies 11 to two.

Southern Illinois will look to win the series in the rubber game on Thursday at 6:45 p.m. Trent Johnson is scheduled to start for the Miners against Gateway right-hander Geoff Bramblett at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.

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