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Neil DeCook finished the four-game series 8-for-13 (.615)
Courtesy: WIU Visual Productions Center
Neil DeCook finished the four-game series 8-for-13 (.615)
Leathernecks Drop Two in Doubleheader Finale
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Thursday 05/18/2013
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Fighting Leatherneck baseball dropped two games to Oakland in the regular season doubleheader finale on Saturday (May 18). The Golden Grizzlies completed the series sweep of the Leathernecks with all four wins this weekend being decided by one run.

Game 1: Oakland 4, Western Illinois 3 

The first game of the doubleheader was a seven-inning contest with five of the seven runs being scored in the fifth inning alone. Oakland came out on top 4-3 after posting three runs in the bottom half of the fifth. 

Leatherneck starting pitcher Tyler Willman (1-6) threw all six innings for Western and recorded three strikeouts with four runs allowed.

At the plate, both Neil DeCook and Brent Turner went a perfect 3-for-3. The three-hit performances match career highs for both DeCook and Turner.

Western got on the board in the third inning after Turner singled and later crossed the plate on a Zack Burling sacrifice fly. Oakland then answered in the bottom of the fourth with a run of their own to tie the game at 1-1.

In the top half of the fifth both Turner and DeCook singled and crossed the plate for Western to put the Leathernecks on top 3-1.

The Golden Grizzlies would go on top for good in the bottom half of the fifth. After a pair of singles and hit batter loaded the bases, Nolan Jacoby hit a bases clearing double to give OU the lead for good.

Game 2: Oakland 12, Western Illinois 11 (11 Innings) 

The second game of the doubleheader and weekend finale was all Oakland for the first five innings. The Golden Grizzlies jumped out to an 11-2 lead by the fifth inning and were in control of the game before the Leathernecks made their biggest come back of the season to tie the game at 11-11. OU would win the game in 11 innings to earn the series sweep. 

The Leathernecks used five pitchers in the game with Nick Smith (1-4) getting the loss after throwing the final 1.2 innings. Oakland used nine pitchers in the contest and Rusell Luxton Jr. (1-3) picked up the win after throwing the final inning. 

In total the Leathernecks recorded 20 hits in the game, the second most this season (Blackburn College, 25). Burling, Jameson Henning, Turner and JP Maestas all recorded three hits in the game. Maestas also notched a career-high three RBI for Western.

The Golden Grizzlies put across two runs in the second, seven in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take an 11-2 lead. Western would answer however, scoring one run in the sixth and four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at 11-11.

After a scoreless ninth inning the game went into extra innings, the fourth extra innings affair for the Leathernecks this season. The Golden Grizzlies eventually came out on top in the bottom of the 11th inning after Mike Carson singled down the left field line to score Spencer Marentette. The walk-off win was the second for Oakland in the weekend series. 

The Purple & Gold finished the 2013 regular season with an 18-35 overall record and 9-17 conference mark. The 18 wins are the most since 2011 and also the most for a first year head coach in program history.

Western has qualified for the 2013 Summit League tournament as the No. 4 seed. Tournament play begins next Thursday (May 23) in Rochester, Mich. The Leathernecks will square off against top seeded South Dakota State in game one of the double elimination tournament on Thursday at 11 a.m. (CT).


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