The Western Illinois baseball team won its first Summit League series of the season after beating South Dakota State three out of four times this weekend. The Jackrabbits took the first game, but WIU strung together three straight wins to take the series.
South Dakota State took game one by a score of 10-3. Freshman Adam Mazur was credited with his second win for SDSU while Chandler Fochs was saddled with the loss, his third. Derek Hackman hit his team leading third homerun of the season which was one of six extra base hits for the Jackrabbits. For the Leathernecks, Freshman left hander Johnny Beck tied his career high of five innings pitched while giving up just one run.
SDSU opened the scoring in the top half of the first thanks to a two run single from shortstop Luke Ira. Drew Beazley followed up Ira with a one run double to push the score to 3-0. The Leathernecks would respond in the bottom half of the inning. After loading the bases, Chase VanDerGinst would draw a walk to bring in Kevin Raisbeck. Kory Olsen contributed with an RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 3-2 after the first inning. SDSU would threaten again in the third inning. After loading the bases, Hackman would score on an error by Leatherneck third baseman Toby Allred. Drew Beazley would add his second and third RBI of the day to give South Dakota State a 6-2 advantage. In the very next inning, Hackman would launch a ball over the right center fence to tack on two more to the SDSU lead. Each team would add one more run and the Jackrabbits would take the game 10-3.
The Leathernecks would come back to claim game two of the double header 5-0. Brett Sears threw a complete game shutout to record his third win of the season. This marked the second complete game shutout of the season for WIU. Sears would hold South Dakota State to just three hits in the ballgame. Toby Allred notched his first career home run with a two run blast in the fourth inning.
The game started out as a pitchers duel. Each starter allowed just one hit through the first three innings. Western Illinois finally broke through in the fourth inning. Trent Bauer put himself in scoring position with a one out double down the right field line. After a walk and a groundout the Leathernecks found themselves with two men in scoring position. Derek Botaletto dropped a single into shallow left to score two and give WIU the lead. Toby Allred would follow up Botaletto’s single with a two run blast over the left field fence and give Western a 4-0 lead after the fourth inning. In the next inning Trent Bauer would come through with an RBI single to tack on one more run. WIU would go on to win 5-0.
The Leathernecks would continue their winning ways on Saturday with a 4-3 come from behind victory. Jack Carberry would earn the win in relief after tossing 3.2 scoreless innings and striking out four Jackrabbits. Starter Jace Warkentien threw 5.1 innings giving up five hits and striking our five. Kevin Raisbeck contributed to three of the four Leatherneck runs, scoring one and driving in two more.
SDSU struck first in the third inning after Jess Bellows scampered home on a wild pitch from Warkentien. Western would answer in the bottom half of the inning when Dillion Sears scored on a Luke Schwartz single to tie the game at one. Later in the inning Raisbeck would come home on a throw down to second to catch Schwartz stealing. WIU would lead 2-1 after three. The Jackrabbits would tie the game in the fourth off of a single from Drake Frazier. Freshman second baseman Garrett Stout knocked a single into right field to give the Jackrabbits a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. WIU would respond in the seventh inning when Chase VanDerGinst scored thanks to a Kevin Raisbeck single to tie the game at three. The next inning, Luke Schwartz would score the game winning run on a wild pitch from Eli Sundquist. Western would claim game three 4-3.
WIU would secure the series win after winning the final game 6-5. Chase VanDerGinst came through with a walk off single to secure the series for Western Illinois. Brian Raymond started for the Necks and struck out a career high ten batters and retired SDSU in order three separate times. Trent Bauer notched his sixth multi-hit game of the season and extended his hit streak to eight games. Austin Edwards also got his first career victory in relief.
The game began as a pitchers duel with neither team scoring until the seventh inning. South Dakota State got on the scoreboard first thanks to a three run homerun from Jordan Sagehahl. The Leathernecks would respond in the bottom half with a five run burst of their own. Toby Allred singled and scored Chase VanDerGinst to put WIU on the board. Western would go on to score three straight runs off of wild pitches. Trent Bauer would cap off the scoring explosion with an RBI single. South Dakota State would not go down easily as Ryan McDonald launched a game tying two run home run over the right center field fence. After Austin Edwards pitched a scoreless top half of the ninth, WIU came to the plate with a chance to win the game. Kevin Raisbeck started off the bottom of the frame with a double down the right field line. A sacrifice bunt from Luke Schwartz moved Raisbeck over to third. The next batter, Chase VanDerGinst singled down the right field line to walk the game off and secure the series win for the Leathernecks.
WIU moved to 8-13 on the season after this weekend’s games. The Leathernecks will play Oral Roberts for a home series beginning April 1st.