The Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks baseball dropped their opening game against the North Dakota State Bison by a final score of 11-2. The Bison scored early in the 1st inning as Hostetler doubles to right field down the line to score Malec to give the Bison an early 1-0 lead. Later on in the first inning, Busch would ground into a fielders choice to shortstop as he drives in Brookshaw to give them a 2-0 lead. The bats would stay quiet until the top of the 3rd as North Dakota State would score 5 runs as Hostetler does it again by singling to left to bring brookshaw to make it 3-0. Later on, Solano would ground into fielder’s choice to score Hostetler from 3rd base to make it 4-0. Then, Hill would single up the middle to drive in the 5th run as Busch scores. Simonsen later doubled to left field to put in Hill for the 6th run and then another single by Schwabe to drive in Simonsen to make it 7-0. The next inning in the 4th, North Dakota would score again as Solano gets another single to put in the 8th run as Rohde scores. Western would bounce back and get on the board on a two-run single to right field by Dorethy to make an 8-2 ballgame. North Dakota would get back on with more singles from Hostetler and Rhode to get 3 more runs for the bison to make 11-2, which would end up being the final score.
A doubleheader was taking place on Saturday and beginning with game 1, Western would get on the board first as Bauer hits a sacrifice fly to right field to score Raisbeck from 3rd base to give Western a 1-0 lead. North Dakota State responds quickly to take a 2-1 lead as Simonsen hits a two-run single to left field to drive in Solano and Busch. Western would tie up the ballgame in the 3rd inning as Bauer would reach on an error by the second basemen as Raisbeck scores from 3rd to make 2-2. In the top of the 5th inning, Hostetler on North Dakota State drives in a pair of runs by doubling to left center field to score Brookshaw and Malec to make a 4-2 ballgame. In the bottom of the 5th inning, Dorethy would hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Olson form 3rd base to make it a 4-3 NDSU lead. North Dakota State would lead the rest of the way, beginning with a double from Schwabe to score Simonsen to make 5-3. Later on in the 8th inning, Brookshaw hits a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Malec to extend the lead to 6-3. In the 9th, Simonsen would get a sacrifice bunt down as he drives in Solano to make it 7-3, which would end up being the final score from game 1 of the doubleheader.
Game 2 of the doubleheader began right after with North Dakota State scoring 2 runs in the top of the 1st with Hostetler reaching on an error which drove in Malec and a single by Simonsen to drive in the second run. Western would quickly respond in the bottom of the 1st inning as Bauer singles to right center to score Olsen to make it 2-1. North Dakota gets back on the board in the top of the 4th inning on a single by Schwabe to drive in Hill and Rohde being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the 5th run to give the Bison 4-1 lead. Western would come back to tie it up in the bottom of the 7th as Schwartz doubles to left to score VanDerGinst and Dorethy. Later on in that inning, Botaletto reaches on an error at 3rd base to bring in Schwartz. The next inning, North Dakota State would take the lead on a 3-run homer by Hostetler to left center to bring in Brookshaw and Malec. In the same inning, a RBI single was hit by Solano to score Simonsen to make it 8-4, which ended up being the final score.
The last game of the series was on Sunday and the game started off with another home run by Hostetler in the 1st inning to make it 1-0. Western took the lead in the bottom of the 1st as Dorethy with a RBI single up the middle to drive in Bauer and Schwartz doubling down the right field line to bring in Dorethy. The Bison tied it up at 2 in the top of the 2nd inning as Malec singles to center field to drive in Schwabe. Western would have a big bottom of the 3rd inning as Bauer doubles down the right field line to bring in Olsen and Schwartz hitting into a double play to bring in Bauer from 3rd. Later on in the bottom of the 4th, Sears would steal 2nd base and advances to third on a error on the catcher which drove in Estes from 3rd base to make it a 5-2 Western lead. North Dakota State would tie it up in the top of the 6th inning as Brookshaw hits a 2-run homer to center field to bring in Schwabe. North Dakota would take the lead in the top of 7th inning as there was a balk called on the pitcher with bases loaded to bring in Solano from 3rd base to make it a 6-5 Bison lead. Western retook the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning as Raisbeck singles up the middle to bring in Botaletto and Schwartz. Same inning, we have another 2-run single by Olsen to bring in Raisbeck and Sears to give Western a 9-6 lead over North Dakota State. North Dakota would only score one run in the top of the 9th inning as Schwabe reaches base on an error by the shortstop to bring in Nelson. Western had won this game by a score of 9-7 over North Dakota State.
Western’s next series will take place back at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium as they take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits for 4 games beginning on Friday, March 26th. North Dakota State will take on Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma on a 4-game series beginning on Friday, March 26th.