The Southern Illinois Miners returned home from a 7-0 road trip and kept up their winning ways, rolling to a 6-3 win over Schaumburg. The victory was their ninth in a row and thirteenth in their last 15 games.
The Miners broke on top with a two-out rally in the second. Arturo Nieto singled and Taylor Sparks rocketed a ground-rule double to center field. Joe Duncan, facing former teammate Aaron Rozek (5-4), lofted a single to left field, scoring both runners.
Southern Illinois kept up the scoring against the former Miner in the third when Yeltsin Gudino doubled and scored on an RBI single by Gianfranco Wawoe to make it 3-0.
Chase Cunningham allowed just one baserunner in the first three innings, but the Boomers were able to cut into the lead in the fourth. With two outs, Quincy Nieporte and Nick Oddo struck for back-to-back RBI hits, slicing the Miners' lead to 3-2.
But Cunningham (8-4) stopped the damage, and ended up pitching a quality start of six and two-thirds innings, fanning eight and walking just two. Cunningham earned his Frontier League-leading eighth victory of the season.
The Miners rebuilt their lead in the fourth with Kyle Davis extending his hit streak to nine with a leadoff single, and Nieto and Sparks followed with a single and RBI ground-rule double to make it 4-2.
Duncan brought in Nieto for a 5-2 lead with a ground ball to the mound, and then a wild pitch by Rozek scored Sparks from third base for a 6-2 cushion.
The Boomers were able to scratch across a run in the eighth to make it a three-run game, but would get no closer. Jordan Brink struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save of the season as the Miners tied their high-water mark on the year of 10 games over .500 at 43-33.
Nieto, Sparks, Gudino and Wawoe each had a pair of hits in the 11-hit attack to lead Southern Illinois. The Miners now hold the league's first wild card playoff spot.
The Miners will look to make their win streak 10 in a row when they host the Boomers in the middle game of the series at 6:05 p.m. tonight.