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.
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.