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Western Courier

Baseball falls in a weekend triple-header

Mat McClanahan

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Western Illinois baseball had a tough weekend after dropping three straight games to Southeast Missouri State over the weekend. After the tough outing against the Redhawks, the Leathernecks’ record has come to a lopsided 0-7.

In the teams’ first matchup, the first inning would say it was going to be a good day for pitcher, Clay Chandler, which did not end up being the case. After the first inning ending in a 0-0 deadlock, Western opened up the game with three hits and scored the first run of the game.

Western’s Junior Jonathon Fleek hit a one out single to center field, followed by a single from Chris Tschinda, which would advance Fleek into scoring position. Dave Dobrich then roped a double to put the Leathernecks on the board, 1-0.

In the bottom of the second, the Redhawks responded in a big way. The Redhawks leadoff batter singled to centerfield, and it was all downhill after that. Missouri put up a crooked number and scored six runs on five hits to close out the inning. Western could not answer, but the Redhawks kept piling it on when they scored five more runs in the third inning to bring the score to 11-1 after the bottom of the third. The rest of the game got ugly for the Leathernecks when they ultimately fell 22-2 in their first night in Cape Girardeau. The next day, Western responded to a tough loss and came out of the gate swinging.

The Leathernecks scored three runs on three hits in the first inning. Mitch Ellis, batting in the number two spot, hit a one-out single to bring up the Leathernecks’ best hitter, Adam McGinnis, who hit a tworun homerun to put Western up 2-0 with just one out. After the homer from McGinnis, Western’s clean-up batter, Drue Galassi, hit a solo shot to put the Leathernecks ahead, 3-0.

Western’s defense and pitching kept the Redhawks silent until the third inning. Two walks and two errors helped SEMO get on the board, leaving the score 3-1.

The game stayed scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when a wild pitch helped the Redhawks score another run to make the game a one-run lead, 3-2.

In the top of the seventh inning, Deion Thompson singled to center field, then stole second base to put himself in scoring position and eventually advanced to third base. Preston Church laid a sacrifice bunt to score Thompson and earn a run to bring the game to 4-2. The Redhawks responded with a run of their own to pull the game within one once again.

The Leathernecks could not earn a run the rest of the game. In the bottom of the eighth, SEMO took advantage of a fielding error and blasted a homerun to take a late lead, but Western could not overcome the deficit. Western fell 5-4.

On the third day of the teams’ matchup, Western only had three hits and scored one run on the day. The first inning was scoreless for both teams, but SEMO did not wait any longer to get on the board.

In the bottom of the second, a SEMO double helped score a run and take a 1-0 lead. The third inning stayed scoreless for both sides, but in the bottom of the fourth the Redhawks had a solo home run to stay up on the Leathernecks, 2-0.

In the top of the fifth, Western finally got a man around to score. Fleek took care of business himself and hit a one-run bomb for Western’s only run of the game. The final score was 5-1 and Western could not find a win against the Redhawks on the weekend.

“We got two quality starts from Ian (Koch) and Javin (Drake),” said head coach Ryan Brownlee at the end of the weekend. “They both carried over their outings from last weekend. Javin only made a couple of bad pitches that get hit well. It was great to see Carson Cheesman on the mound again. All of our guys coming off injuries from last year: J.T. (Baksha), Pete (Minella), Preston (Church), Drue (Galassi), Fitz (Justin Fitzpatrick) and Deion (Thompson) have all come back healthy, which is a huge boost. SEMO’s starter did a nice job of keeping the ball down. He really only elevated a couple of pitches, and Johnathan put a good swing on one and got it out. Pitchers like him, you have to be disciplined to wait for a pitch you can do damage on. It was really our first game all season that we haven’t had consistent hard contact up and down our line-up. We will have a great week of practice and it is just a matter of time for our team.”

The Leathernecks will now travel to Carbondale, Illinois to play the Southern Illinois Salukis for a three-game span this weekend looking for their first win of the early season before conference play. Twitter: @MacIsland13

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Baseball falls in a weekend triple-header