The Western Illinois Baseball team fell to North Dakota State 11-4 on Thursday afternoon, in an elimination game at the Summit League Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Leathernecks season ends with a 18-32 record and a nine game losing streak. Western advanced to the tournament as a four seed, making the postseason for the first time since 2014.
With sophomore Ian Koch on the mound for the Leathernecks, North Dakota State got ahead early. A one run first inning and a five run second inning made it a 6-0 Bison lead. Koch was pulled after 1.2 innings, giving up those six runs. Only two were earned, as fielding troubles plaugued the Leathernecks all day. In all, WIU committed five errors.
While a Conner Currier RBI single in the second and an Adam McGinis RBI ground out garned runs for Western in the second and third innings, the Leathernecks were down big, with NDSU up 8-2 after three. WIU clawed back, not allowing any runs betwen the fourth an eighth innings. A Currier solo home run in the seventh and Deion Thompson fielder's choice in the eighth made it a four run game heading into the final inning.
Senior reliever Nate Westfahl had pitched very well for WIU to that point, throwing five shutout innings out of the pen. The Bison were able to get to him in that final inning though, scoring three more runs. Western could not pull off anything in the bottom of the ninth, ending the game and the Leatherneck's season with an 11-4 loss.