Baseball looks to end three-game skid in St. Louis

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Baseball looks to end three-game skid in St. Louis

CJ Schaffer makes contact with the ball.

CJ Schaffer makes contact with the ball.

GOLEATHERNECKS.COM

CJ Schaffer makes contact with the ball.

GOLEATHERNECKS.COM

GOLEATHERNECKS.COM

CJ Schaffer makes contact with the ball.

Christopher Gibson, Courier Staff

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ST. LOUIS — The Western Illinois baseball team (2-7) will continue their road trip as they take on the St. Louis University Billikens (5-5) in a three-game series.

The Leathernecks look to bounce back this upcoming weekend after dropping three straight to the Southern Illinois-Carbondale Salukis. The team only managed to put together three runs up in the series. This will be something that they will be looking to turn around in St. Louis.

Looking to junior C.J. Schaffer to continue his hitting, the Leathernecks are in desperate need of some offense. Besides only managing three runs during the last series, the Leathernecks went only 13 for 90. That’s good enough for a team batting average of 0.144. The Billikens have a team-earned run average of 2.53, which only adds difficulty to the Leathernecks offensive challenge.

The last game between WIU and SIUC ended in a 1-16 score in favor of the Salukis. Justin Foy got the start for the Leathernecks. The game was tied going into the third inning. The Salukis were up to bat and Foy walked the second batter, Addison Fugitt. Fugitt stole second and Foy walked another batter. From there, the Salukis tripled, allowing two runs to score for them. They continued to score two more runs that inning, one coming off of a wild pitch allowing a man on third to score and the other came off of a passed ball. Foy came out of the game after 3.2 innings allowing four earned runs. From there, the Leathernecks managed to hold the Salukis to one run in each of the next two innings and even blanking them until the bottom of the eighth inning where the Salukis scored 10 runs in that inning alone.

The lone bright spot of the game for WIU came in the sixth inning. Senior Steve McShane started the inning off with a double to right field. A couple batters later, sophomore Dillon Sears laid down a sacrifice bunt, allowing McShane to advance to third. Senior Bailey Montgomery was able to drive McShane home with a single to right field to give the Leathernecks their lone run of the game.

The Billikens are coming off of a second-place finish in The Westin Mary Lake Stetson Invitational. They went 2-1, only losing to the tournament host the Stetson Hatters in 14 innings. Their last two games in the invitational were high scoring games, showing that they know how to put hits together and numbers up on the board. This will be their key to success against the Leathernecks if they can keep that momentum going.

The key to success for our Leathernecks to win is to have more hits. They need to string hits together, leading not only to more runs, but also digging into the Billikens bullpen. Outside of their top two relief pitchers, the Billikens’ bullpen isn’t very deep. This will be something that we will be looking for the Leathernecks to exploit if they want to win. Sitting at 2-7 and without any home games until after spring break, this is an important game for the Leathernecks. Hopefully, they can get some momentum for when they come back from break and head straight into conference play.

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