Baseball swept by Butler Bulldogs in substitute weekend series

David Koier, Courier Staff

The Western Illinois baseball team altered its plans for the weekend and added a three-game series versus Butler. Western played a lone game Saturday afternoon before playing a doubleheader on Sunday against the Bulldogs in Indianapolis. The Leathernecks were initially scheduled to play in the 2020 Jackie Robinson Tournament, but flooding in the area canceled the outing. This three game series marked the first time Leatherneck head coach Andy Pascoe faced off against Butler, the school where he served as an assistant coach for three years before taking the head coaching at Western back in September.

Alex Dorethy gave the Leathernecks an early lead with his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the top of the second. Saturday’s game marked the second game in a row that a Leatherneck has hit a home run, the other being Trent Bauer against Tennessee last weekend.

Butler responded and scored its only runs of the series opener in the middle innings off of a two out single, along with an error that gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead over the Leathernecks. Despite loading the bases in the top of the ninth, the Leathernecks weren’t able to plate a run, giving Butler the 3-2 decision.

Right-hander Javin Drake pitched 6.2 innings while striking out four, only allowing two runs. Jack Carberry relieved the senior in the sixth and threw a perfect eighth as he struck out two batter of his own. Dillion Sears went three for three on the day, tying his career high for hits in a single game, knocking three singles and drawing a walk.

Coach Pascoe was impressed with his team’s performance, telling, “Javin Drake gave us another great performance on the bump, and Jack Carberry came in and was lights out to give us an opportunity to win a ball game,” head coach Andy Pascoe said. “We had some chances offensively in a few different innings with Luke Schwartz and Dillon Sears having great games, but could not come up with a hit or a simple RBI groundout. We have to do a better job in those situations of finding a way to get the run across and on the flip side, be better with taking care of the baseball defensively.”

Sunday’s double header began early Sunday morning, but unfortunately did not begin with a Western win. The top of the second saw not only two doubles by Dorethy and Kevin Raisbeck, but Dorethy and Bauer were both able to cross in the frame to give the Leathernecks an early 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs responded in the 2nd and 4th with five unanswered runs putting the Leathernecks in a three run deficit. A two run homer by Dorethy in the 6th brought the Purple and Gold within one but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Butler was able to tack on four more to take game one 9-4 over Western.

Game two continued the misery for the Leathernecks when the Bulldogs scored six unanswered runs in the first three frames of the game. An RBI single in the top of the fifth by Drue Galassi drove in Diego Munoz but that would be it for Western Illinois as the Leathernecks dropped game three of the weekend 6-1.

Western Illinois moves to 0-6 on the season after the weekend’s losses. The Leathernecks travel down to Memphis next weekend to take on the Tigers. Game one is set for Friday the 28th with first pitch at 4 p.m.

Twitter: @DavidKoier