MARION — The Southern Illinois Miners got a brilliant start by Zac Westcott on the mound on Tuesday night at Rent One Park, as the veteran retired the first 19 batters he faced and had a no-hitter through seven and one-third innings, while they supported him with early offense in a 5-1 win over the Florence Y’Alls in Marion.
Westcott (6-1) got on a roll in the middle frames, striking out four of five batters at one point while holding Florence without a base runner until Andres Rios drew a one-out walk in the seventh inning. The right-hander responded with a strikeout of Chad Sedio which turned into a double play to end the inning when Arturo Nieto caught Rios stealing at second base, as Westcott’s no-hitter remained intact.
Meanwhile, the Miners’ offense was able to score early against Jonaiker Villalobos (2-2). In the second inning, Ian Walters beat the pitcher to first base for an infield single, then went to third base when Carson Bartels’ single to right field bounced by Rodney Tennie for an error. Luke Mangieri then put the Miners on the board with a sacrifice fly, making it 1-0.
In the next inning, the Miners would get consecutive singles leading off by Anthony Brocato and Craig Massey before a high-bouncing RBI double by Yeltsin Gudiño up the third base line got over the leap of Sedio and made the score 2-0. Nolan Earley would then score Massey on a groundout to first base, and Jared Mang brought Gudiño home with another sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead after three innings. Southern Illinois would also add insurance in the seventh inning when Brocato beat a high relay throw to first base on a ground ball for a fielder’s choice to make it 5-0.
Westcott began the eighth inning on the mound for the Miners, walking the leadoff batter before surrendering his only hit of the night, an RBI double by Jordan Brower that made the score 5-1. But three Miners relievers combined to shut out the Y’Alls the rest of the way, with Ryan Miller earning his fourth save of the season as Southern Illinois won their sixth straight home game.
The Miners will look to make it two in a row against Florence in the middle game of the series on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., with Chase Cunningham making the start at Rent One Park against the Y’Alls’ Kevin Hahn.