MARION — Austin Dubsky wasn't perfect, but he was the best the Southern Illinois Miners had to offer on the mound during Tuesday's exhibition win over Gateway.
Dubsky, one of four returning Miners pitchers on the roster, threw three shutout innings in the Miners' 10-7 win at Rent One Park. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound righty allowed a hit in every inning but didn't walk a batter. He struck out one, allowed a baserunner to reach third base in all three innings, but came out smelling like a rose.
"He was down in the zone. He was really kind of in attack mode. He was efficient," Southern Illinois Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "He threw 35 pitches over the three innings, and yet, I think he could have thrown less than that. I thought there were some plays we could have made."
Gateway, which had the worst record in the Frontier League last season at 38-58, nearly took the lead in the opening inning in front of a crowd of about 1,500 fans. Leadoff hitter Anthony Ray lined one into shallow left field, and when Miners left fielder Alex Santana dove forward and missed it, it rolled all the way to the wall. Ray ended up with a stand-up double, but was stranded at third. Dubsky got a fastball into the inside-third of the plate, and catcher Luke Lowery fisted it towards second base.
Gianfranco Wawoe threw him out to end the inning.
"He got out of the inning and didn't give anything up," Pinto said. "We talk to the guys all the time about the strike zone, and limiting the damage if anything does goes wrong. He did that perfectly, so I really, really liked what Austin did today."
The Miners got on the board in the bottom of the third off Joe Duncan's line drive into left that became a one-out triple. Ray, the Grizzlies' left fielder, dove forward for Duncan's ball, but missed it badly. It bounced to the wall for a triple, and Duncan came home with the first run of the game when Wawoe grounded out to third base.
Southern Illinois wasn't done. Bryant Flete hit a blooper that landed in between Ray and shortstop Brent Sakurai and went to second on Stephen Lohr's single. Right fielder Brett Siddall drew a four-pitch walk to bring up last year's Frontier League home run leader, first baseman Chris Iriart. Iriart drove Dom Topoozian's pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 5-0 lead.
Gateway climbed back into it with three runs in the fourth off the Miners' second pitcher, 6-6 righty Patrick Duester. Jamey Smart hit a leadoff single and went to third on Luke Lowery's single to center field. Shawon Dunston Jr., the son of the former Cubs great, drove in the Grizzlies' first two runs of the game with a triple into the right field corner. Duester induced a double play ball off the bat of Rafael Valera, but Dunston scored to make it 5-3.
The Miners scored four runs off left-handed rookie Rabon Martin to go up 9-3 after five. Kelvin Rodriguez, a 6-5 lefty from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, got the last three outs in the 10th after working around a leadoff walk. Rodriguez got Austin O'Brien to fly out to center field, struck out Brent Sakurai and retired Dom Golubiewski on a line drive to second base.
The Miners are next in action at Gateway on Wednesday morning. First pitch at GCS Ballpark in Sauget is scheduled for 11 a.m.