NORMAL, Ill. - Western Illinois baseball (15-33-1) struck first and held onto its first lead of the series but Illinois State (29-16) answered and went on to win 4-1 and collect the series sweep.
Rich Mascheri (2-8) was solid in his 6.2 innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out four but was saddled with the loss. Dan Dispensa went 2-for-4 including a double while Brent Turner drove in Western's only run with a double.
Brad Sorkin (4-3) picked up the win with six impressive innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six.
Steve Kedroski walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before Turner doubled home the game's first run to give Western its first lead of the series.
Brett Kay singled in the bottom of the third for Illinois State, and a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch allowed Kay to advance third. Mascheri used back-to-back strikeouts to escape the frame unharmed.
ISU evened the score at 1-1 on a Ty Wiesemeyer home run to right field. Chad Hinshaw singled to start the sixth but was picked off, the fourth Redbird runner cut down on the afternoon (three picked off and one caught stealing). Wiesemeyer tripled to right center and was plated by a Matt Mirabal sacrifice fly to give ISU the 2-1 lead.
Kevin Tokarski began the seventh with a double down the left field line. Kay added to the lead with a single to plate Tokarski and Mark Menaker followed with another RBI single, making it 4-1.
Kenny Long recorded the final two outs to give ISU the three-game sweep.
The Leathernecks will conclude the 2012 season with four games at South Dakota State beginning on Thursday, May 17 at 3 p.m.