Baseball hits road for second series of season


Jasmyne Taylor/ Courier Staff

Drue Galassi at bat for the Leathernecks.

David Koier, Courier Staff

The Western Illinois University Leathernecks look to score their first win, as they take on the Murray State Racers this weekend. The Leathernecks just finished up an on road series this past weekend, and fell to the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee.

Leading Western in hits during the series was junior outfielder Steve McShane. McShane went five for 11 against the Blue Raiders during the series. McShane also managed to accumulate three walks, one double and one run.

Junior pitcher Ian Koch had some success from the mound last Friday. Koch pitched six innings for the Leathernecks allowing only two runs (one earned) off of only three hits and one walk. Koch also struck out seven. With that being his only appearance during this new season Koch is posting a very impressive 1.50 ERA. Even though Koch had these impressive stats, the Purple and Gold did fall to Middle Tennessee 2-0.

Returning for the Leathernecks this season is sophomore infielder star Drue Galassi. Galassi had a good 2017 season. He had a .262 batting average and a .482 slugging percentage. Galassi set a Western Illinois baseball record during a game against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville last season driving in 10 runs during that game. This feat also was the second-most runs driven in one game during the 2017 season among Division I players.

Galassi also led the Purple and Gold in home runs hitting eight during the last year’s season. He was also honored with being named Collegiate Baseball Co-National Player of the Week and Summit League Player of the Week on April 24, 2017. He was given this honor for his stellar performance against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and for a stunning series against the Mastodons of Fort Wayne.

Another player to look out for this weekend is sophomore outfielder Grant Hannant. Hannant transferred to Western from Illinois Central and has already made an impact. Hannant went four for seven this weekend with one RBI, one run and a walk. His best game came on Saturday when he went three for five and scored a run. With a .571 batting average, Hannant will be a player on offense that Murray State will have to lookout for this weekend.

Defensively speaking, the Leathernecks are looking fairly well so far this season. The team averages a stellar .960 fielding percentage with 11 out of the possible 25 players having a 1.000 fielding percentage. Hopefully the Purple and Gold can keep this defensive trend alive this weekend and pull out a win against the Racers.

Murray State went 1-2 last weekend against the Jayhawks of Kansas University. Leading the Racers offensively in that series was junior catcher Mike Farnell. Farnell went two for five with one RBI, only playing in two games in the three-game series. Farnell also did well defensively during the series posting a 1.000fielding percentage.

Another hot bat for the Racers is graduate first baseman Ramsey Scott. Scott started all three games and went three for ten from the plate. He drove in three RBIs as well as scoring four of his own off of two home runs and a double.

The series between the Leathernecks and the Racers begins this Friday and goes till Sunday. Games are being played at Murray State.

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