MACOMB, Ill. - Alexander Zarate picked up his first win of the season and Western Illinois (13-24-1) cruised to an 11-1 victory over Eastern Illinois (15-23) Tuesday (April 24) at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.
In his third start of the 2012 season, Zarate (1-2) faced 22 batters and allowed one run on one hit over six innings. He walked two and struck out three Panthers.
Austin Cowen (2-for-3) scored three runs and hit his third home run of the 2012 season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning. Dan Dispensa (2-for-4) and Rich Mascheri (2-for-4) both scored twice while Steve Kedroski (2-for-5) drove in a run. Matt Igara (1-for-5) drove in two runs and extended his reached base streak to 11 contests.
Western used five singles to jump out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning. Dispensa singled with one out and Cowen followed with a walk. Kedroski drove home Dispensa with a single to center field and Cowen scored on Igara's two-out single through the right side.
Kedroski raced home on Mascheri's single up the middle and Igara scored on Danny Marcuzzo's infield single. EIU catcher Jacob Reese's throwing error into center field allowed Mascheri to score.
Cowen's leadoff single in the second inning led to another Western Illinois run in the second inning. Cowen advanced to third on Kedroski's double off the left field wall and scored on Igara's groundout.
The Fighting Leathernecks scored again in the third inning to go up 7-0. A pitch hit Marcuzzo and Brent Turner singled him to second. After a double play, Dispensa brought Marcuzzo home with a two-out single up the middle.
Eastern Illinois tallied its first run in the sixth inning without a hit. A leadoff walk advanced to third on a wild pitch and groundout. The run eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Western Illinois extended its lead to eight runs in the bottom half of the inning. Dispensa led off with a walk and Cowen lifted a long home run over the left field scoreboard. Tom Lilja lifted his second home run of the season over the left field fence in the eighth inning.
Philip Tolman relieved Zarate in the seventh inning and tossed two scoreless innings. Mason Pingel closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth inning. EIU starter Andrew Grahn (0-5) was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over two innings.
Western Illinois hits the road again for four games at Oakland beginning on Friday (April 27) at 3 p.m. ET.