MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois Leathernecks baseball team faces off against the Saints of Maryville University Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Alfred Boyer Stadium in Macomb. The Leathernecks are coming off of a conference series against the North Dakota State Bison.
The Leathernecks won their first game of the season last Saturday and split a doubleheader with the Bison on Sunday, ultimately taking the series two games to one. The Purple and Gold head into today’s game with a 2-13 overall record.
The Saints are 8-13 on the season, heading into Wednesday’s matchup on a four-game losing streak. Maryville’s last series came in the form of a doubleheader this past Saturday against the Bellarmine University Knights. The Knights won both games from a doubleheader 14-6 and 13-2 respectively.
Junior left fielder Steve McShane leads the Leathernecks in batting average, batting a whopping .333 this season. He is third on the team with a base percentage of .400 and has three RBIs this season.
A star pitcher this year for the Purple and Gold is senior Ryan Dunne who earned Summit League pitcher of the week for his performance this past Sunday against North Dakota State. This is Dunne’s first career pitcher of the week award and he truly earned it. Not only did he pitch eight complete innings, but he only surrendered three hits and did not allow one of those hits until after the fifth inning. Unfortunately, he was not awarded the win, but it was still an amazing performance by Dunne.
Dunne is also one of the overall top pitchers in the Summit League this season. With 32, Dunne leads the Summit League in total strikeouts. That’s not the only Summit League leaderboard that Dunne is a part of. Dunne has a 4.22 ERA this season which places him fifth on the Summit League ERA leaderboard.
Junior Deion Thompson is also a big offensive leader for Western Illinois. Thompson has a .273 batting average on the season accompanied by a .345 slugging percentage. Thompson is also tied for second in the Summit League in stolen bases with seven. Thompson also has one home run, one double and ten RBIs so far this year.
McShane is also having a stellar year in the outfield having a 1.000 fielding percentage. Thompson is also doing pretty well at third base posting a .882 fielding percentage. What prevents Thompson from achieving the perfect fielding percentage are four errors on the season.
Leading the Saints in batting average is junior outfielder Drake Lubin. Lubin tops the list for the Saints posting a .386 batting average with six doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs this season. Lubin has started every game this season for the Saints and has 25 runs and 32 hits in his 82 at bats which leads the team in both categories.