The Southern Illinois Miners came back from a three-run deficit to take game one of their doubleheader against Équipe Québec, but were unable to hold an early lead in game two, dropping the second contest and splitting the twin-bill at Rent One Park on Thursday night.
Équipe Québec struck first in the top of the fourth inning of game one with a two-run home run off the bat of Riley Pittman, his second long ball of the series, for a 2-0 lead. Gift Ngoepe later tripled to left center with two outs, and scored on an error, giving Équipe Québec a 3-0 lead.
The Miners were able to push their first run across in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI single from Tyler Sandoval, his first professional hit, making the score 3-1. Équipe Québec was able to hold the 3-1 lead until the bottom of the sixth inning- with a runner on first base and two outs, the Miners tied the game on a two run home run from Nolan Earley, his second of the year, at 3-3.
After a scoreless top of the seventh from Stevie Ledesma (1-0), Southern Illinois loaded up the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning with no one out, and walked it off on an RBI single up the middle from Jarrod Watkins, giving the Miners the 4-3 win.
Game two of the doubleheader started differently, as the Miners struck first against Équipe Québec in the first inning. Watkins and Anthony Brocato led off with singles, and the Miners got their run on an RBI groundout from Luke Mangieri, taking an early 1-0 lead.
Miners were able to hold the lead until the top of the fifth inning thanks to the pitching of Joey Pulido, but fell behind in the frame, as Riley Pittman's two-run single put the visitors up 2-1.
The Miners would respond quickly in the bottom half of the fifth inning on a bases-loaded walk to Earley, tying the game back up at 2-2. But Équipe Québec answered immediately as Jeffry Parra's solo home run put them back ahead in the top of the sixth. David Glaude would give Équipe Québec insurance in the top of the seventh with an opposite-field home run to left, making it a 4-2 game.
Mangieri hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was not enough as Équipe Québec hung on and won the series two games to one.
The Miners continue their homestand on Friday, June 4, at 7:05 p.m. against the Lake Erie Crushers in Marion, kicking off a three-game, weekend series at Rent One Park.