The Southern Illinois Miners scored four times in their final two turns at-bat, but were stifled offensively in the early part of the game, suffering a 9-4 loss to the Evansville Otters at Bosse Field on Friday night.
Evansville jumped on Southern Illinois starter Chase Cunningham (0-1) early in the game, as after the first two batters reached base in the first inning, Ryan Long hit a three-run home run to make it 3-0 Otters. A solo shot by Jack Meggs in the second inning then increased the deficit to 4-0. Cunningham would rebound to hold the Otters off the board in the third and fourth innings, but a wild pitch and a two-out RBI single by Carlos Castro pushed the margin out to 6-0 and chased him from the game in the bottom of the fifth.
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The Miners were held to no hits and four walks offensively through the first seven frames by Evansville starter Patrick McGuff (1-0) and reliever Matt Rowland, with McGuff striking out 12 in the game. Down 8-0 in the top of the eighth, they got on the board when Gianfranco Wawoe led off with a walk that preceded a two-run home run by Kyle Davis, breaking up the no-hitter and the shutout in one motion.
The Otters would get a run back against Chase Adkins, who came in for Cunningham in the fifth inning and proceeded to finish the game, in the bottom of the eighth to make it 9-2, but Southern Illinois chipped away further at their deficit in the ninth inning. Chris Iriart was hit by a pitch leading off, and Alex Santana pulled an RBI double down the third base line to score him and make it 9-3, then went to third on a throwing error and scored himself on a groundout by Arturo Nieto. The Miners got no closer, however, in losing their first season opener since 2014 and eighth straight game overall at Bosse Field.