MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois baseball defeated the North Dakota State Bison twice in Saturday (May 11) doubleheader action at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium. Western recorded 24 total hits on the day and five different players set new career highs.
Game 1: Western Illinois 8, North Dakota State 7
The Leathernecks and Bison had a battle in game one of the doubleheader with Western scoring two late runs and taking the game 8-7.
Sam Welvaert (1-1) picked up his first career win in the game after throwing a career high 3.1 innings. The righty allowed just one hit and struck out three.
The back-and-forth contest saw the Bison plate two in the top of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. The Leathernecks answered in the bottom of the first inning with two runs of their own to tie the game at 2-2. Jameson Henning and Mark Garton each doubled for Western in the inning.
After a scoreless second inning from both teams, the Bison re-took the lead in the third after scoring three runs to make it 5-2. NDSU capitalized on two Leatherneck errors and picked up one hit in the inning.
Western once again answered in the bottom half of the inning, this time with four runs to take a 6-5 lead. Neil DeCook hit his second career triple for the Leathernecks, which scored Garton and Steve Kedroski. Tanner Glore also had an RBI ground out in the inning, which plated DeCook.
The Bison would not let the lead last long, however, as they scored two more runs in the top of the fourth to go on top once again. Nick Altavilla took advantage of the strong wind blowing out to right field and hit his second home run of the year to put NDSU on top.
The Leathernecks tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Glore hit an RBI single that scored Kedroski.
Western scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 8-7. Zack Burling led off the sixth with a walk and advanced to second on a Dan Dispensa sacrifice bunt. Burling then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the final run when Kedroski reached on a fielding error.
Garton matched his career high with three hits in the game, DeCook set a new career high with three RBI and Kedroski tied his career best with three runs scored.
Game 2: Western Illinois 7, North Dakota State 5
Game two of the doubleheader started out as a pitching duel between the two teams but ended with runs pouring in late in the game. The Leathernecks got an early lead and never let it up as they took the second game of the doubleheader, 7-5.
Neither team crossed the plate until the Leathernecks put one run across in the bottom of the third to take an early 1-0 lead. Henning reached on a throwing error and stole second to reach scoring position. Henning scored for Western after Kedroski singled through the right side.
The Leathernecks scored their second run of the contest in the bottom of the fifth to go up 2-0. Henning singled again in the inning and scored on a Garton sacrifice fly.
North Dakota State scored their first run in the top of the seventh after Wes Satzinger hit a solo home run over the right field fence. The Purple & Gold would answer in the bottom half of the inning with three more runs to go up 5-1. Dispensa hit his league-leading fifth triple of the season to lead off the inning and and Brent Turner had an RBI single for the Leathernecks.
The Bison responded with three more runs in the top half of the eighth inning but the Leathernecks scored two more in the bottom half of the inning and held off the come back attempt.
Both Dispensa and Kedroski recorded four hits apiece in the game. The four-hit game is a new career high for Kedroski. Henning also scored four runs in the game, which is a new career best for the redshirt-freshman.
Western is now 17-29 overall this season after the pair of wins and 8-11 in conference play. The Bison fall to 19-23 overall and 6-11 in conference play.
The Leathernecks and Bison will close out the weekend series tomorrow (May 12) with a single game beginning at noon. Prior to the start of the game, the six seniors on the 2013 roster will be honored for senior day. Tyler Willman is slated to start for Western in the game.