BROOKINGS, S.D. - Western Illinois baseball (16-35-1, 6-17) used a season-high 19 hits to score a season-high 13 runs in the 13-3 game one victory but dropped game two 7-2 at South Dakota State (18-32-1, 7-13) to split a twinbill on Friday.
Western Illinois 13, South Dakota State 3
Rich Mascheri (3-8) went seven innings and allowed just two runs while striking out five to pick up the 13-3 win. He was supported by 19 hits (most this season) including four hits from Tom Lilja (2 RBI) and home runs from Austin Cowen (4 RBI) and Matt Igara (2 RBI).
Stephen Bougher (6-5) lasted just 3.1 innings for SDSU and allowed eight earned runs on 12 hits and was the losing pitcher.
Dan Dispensa started the game off with a double to right center before Cowen singled through the left side to drive in Dispensa, making it three straight games where Western Illinois has scored first. Matt Igara smacked a two-run home run to left center to extend the lead to 3-0.
Two more hits in the second were followed by a long home run by Cowen down the left field line to stretch the visitors' lead to 6-0.
Mascheri hung up four straight zeros to supplement Western's early momentum including his 11th pick off of the season in the third.
Nick Milligan doubled to the wall into the left center gap to start the fourth and Mark Garton traded places with a ground-rule double to left center and extended the lead to 7-0. Danny Marcuzzo tacked on another run with a single through the left side to give the Leathernecks an 8-0 advantage and force SDSU to pull its starting pitcher, Bougher.
Ryan Cowhey took advantage of his second chance after a dropped foul ball (error) and doubled down the right field line and Steve Kedroski followed with a single through the left side. Garton kept the line moving with an RBI single to left and give the Purple & Gold a 9-0 lead.
Zach Briggs homered to center in the bottom of the fifth to cut into Western's lead, 9-2.
Igara doubled with one out down the left field line and advanced to third on a Lilja flyout to left. Following a Cowhey walk and a stolen base, a wild pitch allowed Lilja to score and stretch the lead to 10-2. Milligan continued the sixth inning with a single up the middle to plate Cowhey and give the Leathernecks an 11-2 advantage.
Tom Constand replaced Mascheri in the eighth and worked a scoreless frame.
The Leathernecks used a hit and an error to add two more runs in the ninth on a two-run single from Lilja, making it 13-2.
A wild pitch from Constand in the bottom of the ninth gave SDSU a run and cut the deficit to 13-3
Western Illinois 2, South Dakota State 7
Kolton Emery (1-2) went all seven innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out two.
South Dakota State loaded the bases in the first with no outs but back-to-back strikeouts from Hunter and a groundout to third ended the frame without any damage being done.
Matt Igara knocked a single into center to start the second before Kedroski tripled down the right field line, giving Western a 1-0 lead and the fourth straight game in which the Leathernecks have scored first. Turner drove in Kedroski with a groundout to second, making it 2-0.
The Jackrabbits cut Western's lead in half, 2-1, on a strange failed pick off at first where the umpires ruled the tag was missed between first and second while a runner scored from third.
SDSU took the lead, 6-2, with five runs on three hit and three walks in the fourth including a two-run double from Zach Rhodes to right field and a three-run double from Daniel Telford. Philip Tolman replaced Hunter with one out in the inning.
The Jacks tacked on a run with a single to left center by Rhodes to extend its lead to 7-2.
Emery finished the complete game setting down Western in order in the seventh to secure the Saturday split.
The final game of the season for both squads will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.