CARLINVILLE, Ill. – Fighting Leatherneck baseball picked up two wins on Sunday (Apr. 21) against Division III opponents Blackburn College and MacMurray College in Carlinville, Ill. The 10-run rule came into effect in both contests as the Purple & Gold scored a combined 31 runs on the day.
Western Illinois at Blackburn College
The Leathernecks started scoring early and often in a 20-2 victory over Blackburn College in the first game of the day. Western ended the game with a season high in hits (25), runs (20), RBI (18) and doubles (9). Eight separate Leathernecks had multiple hits in the game, led by senior Dan Dispensa who had a season-high four.
Aaron Michel (2-1) picked up the win in his first career start after tying his career-high with five innings on the mound and setting a new personal best with seven strikeouts. John White threw one inning in the game and Nick Smith was also on the mound for two innings with four strikeouts.
Western got on the board first after Zack Burling led off with a double, his second this season, and scored on a groundout. The Leathernecks got their second run across in the second inning after Mark Garton doubled down the left field line and scored after Neil DeCook doubled to right center.
Blackburn scored their first run in the bottom of the second, but the Purple & Gold would answer with two more of their own in the third. Dispensa hit a solo home run in the inning, one of his two on the day, and Steve Kedroski had one of his two doubles in the game for the Leathernecks.
After neither team scored in the fourth, Western piled on three runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth to take an 11-1 lead. Blackburn scored their final run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the deficit to nine runs.
The Leathernecks picked up nine runs on eight hits in the top of the eighth-inning to seal the win and make the score 20-2. Jake Moore had two of the eight hits in the inning, including a two-run home run. The home run was the second of the year for Moore.
Western Illinois vs. MacMurray College
Leatherneck pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout of MacMurray College in a seven-inning contest. Western scored six runs in the first two innings and cruised to an 11-0 victory.
The Purple & Gold used five pitchers in the game, with Tom Constand (2-3) getting the start and the win. The lefty threw two innings with two strikeouts and no hits. Tyler Willman also threw two innings for the Leathernecks and amassed six strikeouts. Tyler Owings, Sam Welvaert and Brian Loconsole also made appearances and contributed to the season high 16 strikeouts for the pitching staff.
Western put four runs across in the first inning to take the early lead. Kedroski hit a three RBI double and also scored a run in the inning for Western. The Leathernecks capitalized on two errors in the second and added two more runs to take a 6-0 lead.
Jameson Henning hit a home run for the Leathernecks in the fourth inning to give the team a nine-run lead. The three-run blast cleared the left field wall and was the first career home run for Henning. Western added one more run in the sixth inning to close out the 11-0 win.
Burling scored a career high three runs in the game, while Henning had a career high four RBI for Western.
The pair of wins on Sunday improves Western’s record to 9-25 this season. The Leathernecks will face conference opponents from here on out, with a trip to Fort Wayne, Ind. set for next weekend. The Leathernecks and Mastodons will square off in a four-game set beginning next Friday (Apr. 26).