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Jerger's go-ahead triple pushes Southern Illinois past Mazatlán

Southern Illinois 8  Mazatlán, Mexico 7

In a hotly contested, back-and-forth affair, Area Host Southern Illinois came up strong late to defeat Mexico Zone Champion Mazatlán, Sinaloa 8-7. Austin Jerger’s go-ahead RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference, as Nick Compton closed out the game for the victory.

The ebbs and flows in the game for both sides were numerous, as the lead changed three times and was the score was tied heading with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Mazatlán started out the game hot, scoring six runs in the top of the second inning thanks to four hits, three walks and a sacrifice fly. The deficit didn’t get the Area Host down, as Southern Illinois struck back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the second. Nic Hunter connected on a two-RBI double and later scored on a passed ball to make it 6-3 Mazatlán.

Southern Illinois took the lead in the bottom of the third. Three walks loaded the bases, as Hunter once again came through in the clutch, hitting a line drive single to centerfield, scoring Jerger. Gavin Baldwin scored on a passed ball during the next at-bat, and Korey Bunselmeyer gave the Illini the lead thanks to his two-RBI single to left field that scored Cole Malway and Hunter (7-6).

The Mexicans tied the game at seven in the top of the fifth, when Angel Estrada singled home Jose Osuna with two outs, prior to Jerger’s heroics in the bottom of the sixth.

Hunter paced Southern Illinois with two hits and three RBI.
Estrada led Mazatlán with two hits. Compton was arguably the most outstanding pitcher of any team on the tournament’s opening day. After coming for starter Noah Boon in the third, Compton pitched five complete, allowing one unearned run on two hits and two walks, while striking out five.

With the win, Southern Illinois receives a complete day of rest before it plays its second Colt World Series game. The team awaits the winner of Game #8 between Covina, California
and Seoul, Korea in Game #12 at 6:30 p.m. CT/US Sunday. Despite the tough loss, Mazatlán must rebound quickly, as it faces an elimination Game #6 Saturday at 11:30 a.m. CT/US against Greensboro, North Carolina.

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