Baseball swept by Golden Eagles on the road

Steve McSahne swings for the fences.


Steve McSahne swings for the fences.

David Koier, Courier Staff

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The season didn’t start off the way the Western Illinois Leathernecks baseball team wanted it to this weekend, as Western got swept in three games against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles.

Junior Javin Drake started the opening day against the Golden Eagles on a positive note. In six innings, Drake faced 26 batters, allowing five hits, three runs (two of those earned), striking out four and walking three.

The Golden Eagles struck early in the bottom of the first when infielder Jason Hinchman singled up the right-side scoring infielder Jay Meuse who reached on a single. Tennessee Tech didn’t stop there as outfielder Anthony Carrera hit a solo home run off of Drake in the bottom of the third to widen their lead to 2-0.

A line out to center field by Hinchman and a throwing error by Leatherneck third baseman Deion Thompson saw Meuse cross the plate once more, bringing the Golden Eagles lead to three.

The Leathernecks didn’t go down without a fight. A single by Leatherneck second baseman Kevin Raisbeck in the eighth put Western on the board, and a fielder’s choice in the ninth scored first baseman Bailey Montgomery, which brought the Leathernecks up one. However, the late game rally wasn’t enough as the Golden Eagles topped Western 3-2.

Coach Ryan Brownlee had some positive things to say about his team’s play in game one via “Our team had a lot of great input after the game on what we did well and what we need to improve on. Drake and Jace [Warketien] both did a great job of competing in the strike zone. They both pitched through adversity and kept the score down in a very hitter-friendly ballpark.”

Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader saw Leatherneck sophomore Alex Dorethy face off on the rubber against Golden Eagles lefty Nic Dye.

A double by Western’s catcher Trenton Bauer, scoring Montgomery, put the Leathernecks up early in the top of the first. The Leathernecks continued to add to their score as an RBI double in the second by Nolan Ard and a bunt single by Steve McShane in the third saw the Leathernecks take a 3-0 lead.

This would however be the last inning that the Purple and Gold saw a lead in the game as a four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth by Tennessee Tech helped the Golden Eagles take the lead and never look back. A few more runs late in the game widened the lead to a point that the Leathernecks couldn’t recover. The Golden Eagles took game one 8-3 with pitcher Alex Hursey earning the win with Dorethy receiving the loss.

Game two saw a similar start by the Leathernecks as an RBI double by Thompson and an RBI single by Dillon Sears in the second led the Leathernecks to an early 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third with the bases loaded for Tennesse Tech, Carrera singled back up to the pitcher for an RBI single putting the Golden Eagles on the board. Back to back walks by Western starter Justin Foy saw the Eagles take a 3-2 lead.

The Leathernecks bounced back quick with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth off of a Drue Galassi single and a throwing error off of a grounder by McShane, putting the Purple and Gold up 4-3.

Just like game one, the Leathernecks couldn’t hold onto the lead. A late game rally launched the Golden Eagles to a game two win 7-4, completing the sweep.

The Leathernecks’ next series will be at Southeast Missouri State. The three-game slate starts this Fridayat 4:30 p.m.

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