MARION, Ill. -- The River City Rascals were held without a hit through six innings in their 6-2 loss to the Southern Illinois Miners on Tuesday, also committing five errors on the night in the series opener. The Miners grabbed an early 3-0 lead and never looked back, riding Chase Cunningham's gem of a start to victory.
The Miners capitalized on three Rascals errors to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Gianfranco Wawoe brought the first run in on an RBI single, and the second two runs scored on a two-out pop-up that hit off the heel of Rascals' first baseman Nolan Meadows' glove with the bases loaded. Southern Illinois added three more in the third, on a two-run single from Steve Lohr, and scoring their final run on another Rascals error.
Trailing 6-0 entering the sixth inning, Trevor Achenbach recorded the first Rascals hit with two outs in the frame. The Rascals would end up scoring two in the seventh, on a sacrifice fly from Kameron Esthay and an RBI single from Artemis Kadkhodaian. They had their chances late, but left five men on base over the final two innings of the game.
Cunningham (1-2) went seven innings, allowing two runs, with two walks and six strikeouts. Rascals starter Alex Winkelman (1-2) took the loss, allowing six runs (one earned) in 2 2/3 innings of work, walking five and striking out six. Dillon Sievert worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings out of the Rascals bullpen in his professional debut.
The Rascals (10-7) will look to bounce back in Game 2 against the Miners (8-7) on Wednesday, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. CDT from Rent One Park. Jason Zgardowski will take the mound for the Rascals, and will be opposed by Marty Anderson.