The Leatherneck baseball team traveled to the Gateway to the West this weekend to take on the Billikens of Saint Louis University. Andy Pascoe and his squad came into this series 2-7 overall, really trying to get back in the win column and on track. The Billikens were also in desperate need of wins, as they came in 2-10, and they got those wins as they took two out of three games from Western Illinois.
The first game was a very good battle between the two teams. The Leathernecks turned to Brett Sears on the bump, while Saint Louis turned to Matt Boyer. The Leathernecks got the scoring started early, when Alex Dorethy singled to right field to score Luke Schwartz in the 1st, putting the Leathernecks up 1-0. In the second inning, the Leathernecks struck again, as Luke Schwartz tripled to score Kevin Raisbeck to boost the scoring again. But the Billikens kept chipping away, and they took the lead in the 6th on an RBI single to make it 3-2. But in the 8th inning, Chase VanDerGinst homered over the right field wall to even the score back up at 3-3. But in the bottom of the 9th Saint Louis walked it off on a single, as the Billikens took the first game of the series 4-3.
In Game 2, the Leathernecks once again came out of the gate early, as Trenton Bauer doubled to right field to bring home Kevin Raisbeck. In the second inning, Dillon Sears singled to right field to score Kory Olsen to make it 2-0. For the most part, this game was a big pitcher’s duel. There was no scoring from the 3rd inning to the 7th inning. But the 8th inning is when the Leathernecks offense started to explode. Dillon Sears scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-0, and then Tyler Estes doubled to score three runs on a Saint Louis error to blow the doors open and make the score 7-0. Western Illinois went on to score four more runs in the 9th to go on and win the game 11-0. The player of the game for the Leathernecks was undoubtedly starting pitcher Chandler Fochs, who pitched a complete game shutout, tallying three strikeouts and only allowing five hits.
The rubber match of the series came on Sunday, as the Leathernecks were still riding that great win the day before. But Saint Louis took that game to heart, as they put the game out of reach by the 5th inning as they took a 8-0 lead. The Billikens rode the stellar pitching of Scott Youngbrandt all the way to a dominant 14-0 win, taking the series from the Leathernecks. Jace Warkentien took the loss for the Leathernecks, dropping his record to 0-2 on the season. The Billikens tallied 16 hits while the Leathernecks got 6. One positive out of this game for the Leathernecks was David Olejnik getting his first career hit, a single.
This series dropped the Leathernecks to 3-9 overall, and have now dropped 4 of their last 5. The Billikens now sit at 4-11 after this series win. Both teams definitely have a lot of improvements to get to before their conference slates start, including starting pitching after both teams had double-digit wins this series.
The Leathernecks will now head to Edwardsville on Tuesday to take on SIUE for a single game matchup. After this, they will open up their conference slate when they welcome North Dakota State to Macomb next weekend. The Billikens will face off against SEMO in a single game matchup, and then welcome Oral Roberts for a weekend three game series.