SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Western Illinois baseball split with the Missouri State Bears in their weekend doubleheader finale on Saturday (Mar. 16). The Bears won the first game 10-4, while the Leathernecks won game two 6-3.
The first game of the doubleheader saw Missouri State jump out to an early 3-0 lead after the second inning. The Bears got an RBI single in the inning from Tate Matheny. Matheny finished the game with three hits and one run scored to go along with his RBI.
The Leathernecks got their first run on the board in the third inning. Zack Burling singled to lead off the inning, then stole second for his second stolen base of the season. After a Neil DeCook sacrifice bunt, Burling crossed the plate on a Brent Turner ground out.
Western scored their final two runs of the game in the seventh inning. After a Mark Garton lead off walk, Steve Kedroski singled to put two runners on. Garton scored on a Burling RBI single, while Kedroski crossed the plate on a DeCook ground out.
Missouri State would add two more runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to finish with a 10-4 victory.
Riley Perry (0-2) took the loss for the Leathernecks. The junior threw a career high five innings, allowing four earned runs while striking out a career high five batters.
Missouri State pitcher Jonathan Harris (4-0) got the victory for the Bears. The freshman threw seven innings, allowing five hits and three runs with six strikeouts.
The second game of the doubleheader started out similar to the first, with the Bears jumping out to an early lead. Missouri State scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead.
The Purple & Gold took advantage of a throwing error and scored a run in the top of the second to narrow the lead to 2-1. Burling hit his fourth single of the day in the inning, which scored Travis Stafford all the way from first after a throwing error by the Bears.
Western added two more runs in the third inning to take its first lead of the game. Brent Turner singled in the inning and the next batter up Dan Dispensa reached on a fielder's choice. Turner and Dispensa both scored in the inning after a JP Maestas two RBI single into right field.
The Bears would answer with a run of their own in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 3-3. Missouri State's Connor Smith doubled and scored a run on a wild pitch to tie the game up.
Western came out in the fourth inning and scored three more runs to take the lead for good. Zack Burling singled in the inning and would advance to third on a Joey White double to right field. Tanner Glore then came up and also doubled for the second time in the game to score both Burling and White.
The double by White was the first of his Leatherneck career and the pair of doubles by Glore was also a career first.
In total, Western had nine hits in the game. Glore led the way with three, followed by Burling and Maestas who each had two in the game, respectfully.
Aaron Michel (1-0) picked up his first career victory in the game. The freshman lefty threw a career high 3 1/3 innings, allowing no earned runs while striking out three. Freshman Alex Doty also threw a career high three innings in the contest with no hits or runs and three strikeouts. Brian Loconsole notched his third save of the year after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
The Leathernecks are now 4-13 on the year and will be off until next weekend when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to square off against the Michigan Wolverines in a three-game set. The first game will take place on Friday (Mar. 22) at 5:05 p.m. CDT.