Baseball downs the Mastodons


Jasmyne Taylor/ Courier Staff

Steve McShane leads off second base.

Brendan Reidy

Fort Wayne, Ind.- The Western Illinois University Leathernecks matched up against the Fort Wayne Mastodons this past weekend for a Summit League series. The Leathernecks (4-16) competed against a slumping Mastodon team (5-17) to try and gain momentum into the heart of their season and won

The first game of the series was held on Friday, and it was a pitching dual throughout nine innings. Brandon Phelps and Ian Koch pitched extraordinary for each team, but the bats were the key difference maker in the first game. The Mastodons scored runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings. Shannon Baker who went 2-3 with two walks and an RBI led Fort Wayne. Behind Bakers strong performance at the plate and Phelps outing on the mound, the Leathernecks were no match for this overpowering display of talent. Western Illinois notched their only run in the top of the ninth inning.

They were led by outfielder Steve McShane who went 2-5 at the plate, but hitter Alex Dorethy made some waves late in the game going 1-1 with the teams only RBI. However, it was a quick turnaround for the Purple and Gold the next day.

In the second matchup against IPFW the tides began to turn. Dunne pitched seven innings and allowed only two runs, while recording eight strikeouts for the Leathernecks.

“Everything was really clicking for our team today and it felt good to go out there and give us a chance. I’m happy. Our defense was going again early in the game and helped get me in a groove, but it took a lot of pressure off when we got that first run in the first inning and a couple more after that in the sixth. Our offense did well,” said Dunne, who got his first victory on the mound this season.

Dunne’s teammates saw the performance he was showing on the mound and provided plenty of run support to get the job done.

The bats came alive during the team’s second meeting. The offense was led by a long ball from Bailey Montgomery, Justin Fitzpatrick and CJ Schaeffer all hitting dingers for Western Illinois. Another strong contributor to the offense came from Caleb Jacobs, who went 2-5 with two runs scored. The Mastodons struggled offensively in the team’s second meeting only mustering up three runs. They were led behind the bat of Jacob Dickerson, who went 3-4 on the day with a run scored. Western Illinois’ next matchup will be against Bradley on April 4, in Macomb at Alfred Boyer Stadium.

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