FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Western Illinois baseball opened up the
2013 season with a 9-1 loss against the No. 1 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The game was the first of a three-game
series on Friday (Feb. 15).
Head coach Ryan Brownlee made his coaching debut for the Leathernecks in the game.
Western collected three hits in the contest, including a home
run by senior Dan Dispensa in the fourth inning. The preseason First Team All-Conference
selection hit a solo shot over the left field wall, the sixth of his career. Senior
Manny Reyes and junior transfer Matt Risdon got the other two hits for the
Purple & Gold, both singles up the middle.
Leatherneck starter Nick Smith (0-1) took the loss in the game, giving up seven runs and seven hits in three innings pitched. The Leathernecks used six pitchers in total. Nick Bakeris threw two innings after Smith, followed by true-freshman Aaron Michel (1.0 IP). Sophomores Nick Milligan (1.0 IP) and Tom Constand (0.2 IP), as well as true-freshman Alex Doty (0.1 IP) all saw time on the mound as well.
The Razorbacks got things started early when Eric Fisher singled to right field in the first scoring two runs. Fisher came up again in the third and took a Nick Smith pitch over the right field wall for a solo homerun.
Arkansas scored five total runs on four hits in the fourth inning. The Leathernecks would hold the Razorbacks to two runs in the final five innings of the game.
Ryne Stanek picked up the win for Arkansas. The preseason
All-American went four innings, allowing one earned run and striking out four.
Western Illinois and Arkansas will continue their three-game set tomorrow with a 12:05 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore Tyler Willman will get the start for Western, with Barrett Astin getting the nod for Arkansas.