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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Frontier League: Miners take series sweep over Greys

  • Miners off until Wednesday when they head to Evansville for double header at Bosse Field
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  • Preston Vancil and Travis Bradshaw were the new guys Saturday night.
    But they were both fantastic on the mound to help the Southern Illinois Miners to a series-clinching win. Vancil and Bradshaw combined on a two-hitter in the Miners 12-2 rout that was part of a three-game sweep.
    Vancil pitched for River City last season and has been with Florence in the past, but made his Miners debut a memorable one Saturday after signing with the team earlier in the day. He gave up just one hit — a home run — and allowed a strange unearned run in the fifth for the only marks against him.
    The righthander struck out four, walked three, and was staked to an early lead as the Miners plated four runs against Eric Wooten (3-1) in the third inning.
    "To get on the board against (Wooten) early was important and to give Preston a little breathing room so he could pitch a little and get his feet underneath him," said Miners manager Mike Pinto. "He's had success in this league. He's got good stuff and has the capability to be a strong starter for us."
    The only run against him besides Chris Kay's homer in the fourth came the next inning when Kenny Gilbert drew a walk and scored all the way from first base on a wild pitch after catcher Mario Mercedes' throw to third base went into left field.
    Bradshaw, who spent spring training with the Miners but did not make the opening day roster, rejoined the team Saturday and pitched four innings with one hit allowed — to the first batter he faced — before retiring the next 12 batters in a row. He was given a save and had five strikeouts with no walks.
    "We saw him in spring training and liked him a lot," Pinto said. "We just went a little short and as we looked on the roster we realized this was a guy we needed to bring back in here. He was driving around to try out for other teams and was on his way back to Seattle and I called him when he was in Lincoln, Nebraska, and told him to turn back around."
    While both pitchers were dealing, the Miners' offense was busy matching a team record for hits in a game with 18, which they now share with the inaugural 2007 team that included current assistant coach Ralph Santana as the starting second baseman.
    "I was hoping for one more hit to get Ralph out of the record book," Pinto joked.
    Leadoff man Tyler Hall had four hits, while Gerardo Avila and Phil Butler both had three. Tyler Stubblefield, Carlos Mendez and Ken Gregory had two apiece. Gregory led the way with three RBI and both Stubblefield and Avila had two.
    Page 2 of 2 - On Friday night, Blake Nation got the win with five-plus innings, Avila had two hits and Mercedes had a three-run double in the Miners' 5-4 victory to open the series. Brandon Cunniff got the last four outs with three strikeouts for his fifth save.
    Then on Sunday, the Miners completed their first sweep of the season and improved to 9-6 overall with a 6-2 victory with Cody Hall getting the win on the mound. He allowed two runs, one earned, in five innings.
    Avila had another hit but actually lowered his batting average to .392. Hall did the same and is now at .368. Gregory had two hits, including a triple and an RBI double, and upped his average to .300. Butler also had two hits an an RBI for the Miners.
    The Miners have Monday and Tuesday off before playing a doubleheader at Evansville's Bosse Field on Wednesday starting at 4:35 p.m.

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