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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Miners head to first-ever championship series

  • The Miners will begin the best-of-five championship series tonight against the Florence Freedom in Florence, Ky. at 5:35 p.m. local time.
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  • FLORENCE, Ky. — The Southern Illinois Miners are in their first-ever Frontier League Championship series, but if they want to claim the organization's first trophy, they will have to get past one of the league's hottest teams.
    The Miners will begin the best-of-five championship series tonight against the Florence Freedom in Florence, Ky. at 5:35 p.m. local time.
    While the Miners are fresh off sweeping Traverse City in the divisional round, Florence eliminated Gateway Monday after five games.
    However, Florence stormed into the playoffs with one of the best stretches in the league. On Aug. 1, the Freedom were a mediocre 36-32. A month later, they were 56-39 and heading into the playoffs. The Freedom clinched their postseason berth with a 20-7 record in August.
    Florence is led by a "Big Three" offensively. Junior Arroyo, Eddie Rodriguez and Peter Fatse power a Freedom offense that ranked in the top five of most league categories in the regular season.
    Arroyo led the team with a .302 average, while Rodriguez batted .300 with 15 home runs. Fatse drove in a team-leading 69 runs.
    So far in the postseason, Fatse has been on fire. The infielder is hitting .40 with a home run and eight RBI's in five games.
    On the mound, Florence is led by right-hander Brad Allen. Allen went 4-1 with a 1.07 ERA in eight regular season starts and so far this postseason is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 16 innings.
    The Miners and Freedom went 3-3 in six regular season meetings. The Miners and Freedom last met in Florence on Aug. 17-19 and the Freedom took two out of three games. The Miners and Freedom both head to the championship series for the first time in franchise history.
    Game two is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. in Florence Thursday. Game three will be at Rent One Park in Marion Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. If necessary, game four will be on Sunday at Rent One Park at 5:05 p.m. If the series goes to five games, game five will be in Florence on Tuesday at 5:35 p.m.
     
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