Western Illinois Leatherneck Baseball hosted their first conference series this weekend against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Rich Mascheri got the start on the mound Friday night and threw a strong 7 1/3 innings striking out nine batters on five hits. The hitters put up 8 hits on five runs but fell short and suffered the loss. Nick Smith and I got the start on the bump on Saturday’s game. I was able to go six innings striking out eight batters on seven hits. Alexander Zarate relieved me in the seventh inning and struck out four batters and gave up two unearned runs in three innings. Dan Dispensa was 2-for-4 on the day and Matt Igara drove in the only RBI of the day but wasn’t enough over seven innings. The Leatherneck hitters put up 6 hits with 5 runs but fell short again. Dan Russell went 6 1/3 innings and struck out five batters during Sunday’s game. It was a Lazer Show for the Leatherneck hitters while putting up nine hits. Ryan Cowhey’s two-run double in the seventh innings put the Leathernecks in the lead 4-2. Seth Fuller relieved Russell in the seventh inning and collected the win. We are disappointed in the way we played and understand that the beginning of conference play is a new season.
We will prepare ourselves both physically and mentally for this coming week for our next opponents. We will travel to Iowa City, Iowa for a nonconference game on Tuesday against the Hawkeyes. The Leathernecks will take on North Dakota State in next weekend conference series at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium. The Bison have a strong team but we know if we win every pitch there will not be an option for us except to come out as the victors.
“Hold your breath under water for as long as you can… when you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe you will finally be worthy of wearing purple!”
Dustin Hunter – Senior Starting Pitcher