Western Illinois Baseball has started its home and Summit League schedules with a 2-1 record. The Leathernecks did so by taking down Fort Wayne in 2 out of 3 games over the weekend. The team's record now improves to 3-14 overall.
On Friday afternoon the Leathernecks took a 6-5 victory to start off the weekend. The game was tied at 3 through the top half of the 5th, but a 3 run 6th inning from Western propeled the home team to the win.
First it was Roman Visintine who batted in a run with an RBI single. Then Drue Galassi hit his team leading third home run, crushing a pitch over the right field fence for a 2-run shot and a 6-3 Leatherneck lead. Fort Wayne responded with a run in the 7th and 8th innings, but junior Sam Cottingham-Beard came on to notch a 1.1 inning save, striking out 3 batters in the process.
Saturday did not go Western's way, with the Mastadons winning 5-1. The game was tied heading into the 7th, but a 3-run 7th and 2-run 8th evened the series up. Only 3 of the Fort Wayne runs were earned, with WIU commiting 2 errors in the game.
For the Sunday rubber-match, the Leathernecks took care of business on their home field, winning 4-1. Western led 2-0 going into the 5th, but allowed a solo shot to Fort Wayne left fielder Jacob Dickson. That did not phase Western, as the team responded with a Visintine 2-run double in the bottom of that inning. Javin Drake pitched 7.1 innings of one-run ball and Nate Westfahl came in to close out the rest of the game.
The Leathernecks have a quick turnaround, with St. Ambrose coming to town for a game Wednesday afternoon. This will be the 4th game of a 8 game homestand for Western Illinois, which also includes a series with North Dakota State this weekend and a matchup with Bradley next Wednesday.