Following a series victory at South Dakota State last weekend, Western Illinois Baseball has clinched a spot in the Summit League Tournament. The Leathernecks (15-27, 12-11) now play a three game series at Omaha (May 17-19), followed by a game at Kansas (May 20), to close out the regular season.
WIU won 4-3 in the opener at SDSU Saturday in 14 innings, before falling 13-7 in the backend of the doubleheader. The initial game was scheduled for Friday, but was rescheduled due to projected inclement weather. Western won the rubber match 9-6 Sunday, enabling Ryan Brownlee's team to clinch a spot in the postseason for the second consecutive season.
Following the South Dakota State series, Western came home for a non-league game against Iowa. While the Leathernecks lead the Hawkeyes 4-0 in Tuesday's game, Iowa came back to win 5-4.
WIU now begins its final Summit League series of the year, playing the opener against Omaha this afternoon. The Mavs are currently on the outside looking in, sitting in fifth place in the Summit League standings. A series sweep for Omaha and a series sweep for South Dakota State against North Dakota State would get the Mavs the fourth seed, and sneak them into the postseason.
Following the three game slate in Omaha, Western heads to Lawrence, Kansas for a Sunday afternoon game against the Jayhawks. That ends the regular season for the Leathernecks, as they'll then prepare for next week's Summit League Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Get a preview of the remainder of the season and some thoughts from WIU Head Baseball Coach Ryan Brownlee. You can listen to the interview here.