MARION, Ill. -- The River City Rascals suffered a shocking loss on Friday night at Rent One Park, dropping the series opener 5-4 despite leading 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. Arturo Nieto's three-run, walk-off double capped-off the Miners' wild ninth inning comeback. Braxton Martinez drove in three of the Rascals' four runs on the night, and recorded two of the team's three hits.
Martinez got the scoring started with a lead-off homer in the second, and made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the third. The Rascals sent eight men to the plate in the fourth, scoring two runs without recording a hit in the frame thanks to back-to-back bases-loaded walks from Martinez and Nolan Meadows. The Miners got on the board in the seventh with a solo shot from Chris Iriart, and had four hits in the ninth inning--including an pinch-hit RBI single from Andy Cosgrove and the game-winning double from Nieto.
Rascals starter Michael McCraith was stellar in his professional debut, going six scoreless innings before allowing the homer to lead-off the seventh before being pulled. He walked one and struck out five. Yeison Medina (2-1) took the loss, allowing all four runs in the ninth.
Miners starter Nick Stroud went 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) with three walks and seven strikeouts. Andrew Bernstein provided 3 1/3 scoreless innings out of the Miners bullpenpen, and Cody Thompson (1-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings of his own.
The Rascals (17-14) will look to re-group in Game 2 of the series against the Miners (18-12) tomorrow night, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. CDT. Travis McQueen is expected to take the mound for the Rascals.