Southern Illinois advances to Colt World Series championship - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois advances to Colt World Series championship

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MARION -- Southern Illinois will play for its first Colt World Series championship Wednesday night after rallying to beat Japan 4-3 in nine innings.

SI trailed 1-0 but picked up an RBI single from Brian Winters, Junior and an RBI ground out from Dillon Poe to take a 2-1 lead.

Japan tied the game at two with an RBI single from Kaito Uchino in the fifth. 

Japan regained the lead an inning later.  With runners on second and third, Seitarou Neha struck out on a pitch that bounced.  SI catcher Kannon Cantrell fired to first to get Neha, but Ruito Nishimura broke for the plate and just beat Austin Jerger's return throw, although Cantrell and SI coach Todd Poe disagreed with the call.

Southern Illinois trailed 3-2 with nobody on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh.  Winters, Junior was hit by a pitch, and Derek Williams launched a double to left that was as close to being caught as it was to being a walk off two-run homer.  Williams settled for a an RBI double to tie the game and force extra innings.

Cantrell led off the bottom of the ninth with a hustling double, as he just beat the relay throw.  With Bryce Anderson squared to bunt, Cantrell was stuck between second and third.  When the catcher threw behind him, Cantrell broke for third and beat the throw.  

Anderson hit the next pitch deep enough to right to score Cantrell with the winning run, sending Southern Illinois to the title game at 7:00.

SI will face the winner of Covina (CA) and Brownsville (TX).  They will play again at 2:00 Wednesday after Covina beat Brownsville 11-2 late Tuesday night.

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