MARION, Ill. -- The River City Rascals squandered a three-run lead for the second consecutive night, dropping the middle game of their series with the Southern Illinois Miners by a score of 4-3 on Saturday night at Rent One Park. The two teams combined to leave 22 runners on base in the game. The Rascals have now lost five of their last six overall.
The Rascals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, as Braxton Martinez's RBI double was immediately followed by a two-run double from Nolan Meadows. The Miners slowly chipped away, scoring their first run on an RBI single from Bryant Flete in the second, one of three hits for the shortstop on the night. Stephen Lohr made it 3-2 on a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Kyle Davis tied the game later in the frame on an RBI ground-rule double. The Miners took the 4-3 lead on an RBI infield single from Anthony Jimenez in the fifth, with Joe Duncan scoring from second base on the play.
Rascals starter Travis McQueen allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings, issuing a season-high four walks in a no-decision. Reliever Kyle Fimbrez (0-1) took the loss, allowing the go-ahead run. Andrew Vernon gave the team two perfect innings out of the bullpen to keep the game close, but the effort was in vain.
Miners starter Greg Marino (1-0) earned the win in his professional debut, allowing three runs on five innings with four walks and five strikeouts. Heath Renz, Benjamin Dum, Jordan Brink and Gabe Gentner combined for four scoreless innings out of the Miners bullpen, with Gentner earning his fourth save of the season.
The Rascals (17-15) look to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Miners (19-12) tomorrow night, with first pitch set for 5:05 p.m. CDT in the series finale.