Florence, KY - The Southern Illinois Miners defeated the Florence Freedom in Game One of the Championship series with a 5-3 victory. Miners starter David Harden pitched 6.2 innings in his second win of the post season and gave up three runs off six hits. He struck out six batters and did not walk anyone.
Florence took the first lead of the game in the top of the second inning. With two outs, center fielder Kyle Bluestein hit a solo home run off David Harden to give the Freedom a 1-0 lead. The Miners came right back in the top of the third inning off Freedom starter Andy Clark as Chris Anderson hit a two run home run and Cannon Lester hit a solo home run to give the Miners a 3-1 lead.
Florence tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning when first baseman Drew Rundle hit a two run home run with one out off David Harden. The Miners regained the lead in the top of the seventh inning when Jason Ganek scored from third base with two outs on a dropped ball by second baseman Pierre LePage to give the Miners a 4-3 lead.
The Miners added another run in the top of the eighth inning when Ken Gregory hit a two out double off reliever Brent Choban to score Jake Kaase to give the Miners a 5-3 lead. Brandon Cunniff, despite loading up the bases with two outs, recorded his fourth post season save to perserve the Miners 5-3 win. The Miners now have a 1-0 series lead over the Florence Freedom.
Game Two is tomorrow night at the Home of the Florence Freedom. The Miners will send LHP Daniel Calhoun to the mound against RHP Brandon Mathes of Florence. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 pm. Mike Ventola will have the call on the Miners Radio Network beginning at 5;15 pm.
From: Miners media relations