BOONEVILLE, Miss. — Fighting Illini baseball (9-6) clinched a series win with a wild 12-10 victory over Southern Illinois (8-12) at The Plex in a back-and-forth affair.
With the game tied at 9-9 in the sixth, Drake Westcott launched his second home run of the game, a solo shot, to give Illinois a lead that they would not give back. Jacob Schroeder followed two batters later with his second solo blast of the contest that would end up being the game winner.
The Salukis would put runners on the corners with nobody out to begin the seventh, but Korey Bunselmeyer came out of the bullpen and kept the Illini lead at two, catching the first two batters he faced looking before Brody Harding cut down a runner breaking for home on an attempted double steal to end the inning.
Branden Comia would push a run across in the seventh to make it a 12-9 ballgame going into the eighth.
Southern Illinois again threatened, scoring once thanks to a pair of hits and errors, but TJ Constertina entered the ballgame left the bases loaded, inducing a pop-up in foul territory to keep the game at 12-10.
Constertina walked the first batter he faced in ninth but got the next batter to bounce into a double-play before getting a flyout to earn his second save the season.
The Salukis scratched a run across their first time up to open up the contest, but Westcott responded with his first homer of the game, a two-out, two-run, no-doubter to right.
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