Baseball dominates St. Ambrose in 13-3 rout

Michael Harms , Courier Staff

After only winning one game against NDSU, the Western Illinois Leathernecks (8-14) dominated a one-game break from Summit League play. They put up 13 runs to St. Ambrose’s three to finish their five-game home stand in style.

This game startled all Leathernecks as their first two batters were hit by pitches to advance to the bases. Then, senior Bailey Montgomery singled up the middle to score the first run. The Leathernecks scored two in the first and never looked back.

Jordan Cheek started at the mound for the Leathernecks and it was his strong start that allowed for the Leathernecks to build up a lead. In the first two innings, he only gave up one hit and struck out two batters.

It was the third inning that St. Ambrose tried to make a comeback. After Cheek made his first mistake hitting the leadoff runner to get him on base, junior Andrew Rodriguez homered to right center to score St. Ambrose only three runs of the game. That ended Cheek’s strong start, but he ended the day with a win.

A combined effort with Kyle Rosenfield, Jack Carberry and Parker Heirdorf finished the day at the mound for Western, allowing only two more hits and no more runs. Meanwhile, Montgomery was not done picking apart the Fighting Bees’ pitching staff. He homered to left field to increase his total RBI’s to three for the day.

Not to be outdone, but Steve McShane went three for four at the plate with one RBI. Kevin Raisbeck went four for two with one RBI. This was a hot day for the Leathernecks’ bats in a time when it was most needed, sitting fourth in The Summit League standings.

The Leathernecks will travel to Omaha, Neb. to take on the top-contented in conference, the Omaha Mavericks. In fact, this opponent is so good they had the nation’s longest winning streak at 10, losing to Wichita State Tuesday night. They have started the season off hot, sweeping their first two Summit League matchups against SDSU and Oral Roberts. The Mavericks outscored Purdue Fort Wayne 43-5 behind the offense of Parker Smejkal (6-for-9; seven runs, eight RBI) and Ben Palensky (8-for-12; five runs, two 2Bs and two RBI).

The Mavericks are hitting .350 as a team as Keil Krumwiede leads the team and The Summit League with 33 hits. The Mavericks will bring in star pitcher Payton Kinney who has earned Summit League Pitcher of the Week two times this year already. He leads The Summit League in ERA with 0.69 and wins at five.

As the Mavericks dominate behind the plate, it will be up to Western’s star pitcher to get the job done early. Javin Drake sits ninth on the list for ERA for Summit League pitching and leads the league in batters struck out. It is not an easy task for the Leathernecks, but their spirit is in the right mindset.

These players seem eager to win and dominate on the field and now they will get their chance up against the best on Friday at 4 p.m.