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  • The Western Illinois Baseball team is in Tulsa, Oklahoma for tomorrow's Summit League Tournament. Western (18-30, 12-15 Summit League) returns to the tournament for the first time since 2014.

     

    Coming in as the four seed, WIU will meet the top seeded Oral Roberts Golden Eagles for a 6:00 PM contest. The winning team will play the victor of (2) North Dakota State and (3) South Dakota State Thursday at 6:00 PM. The losing teams from each Wednesday game will meet Thursday at noon. The double-elimination style tournament concludes Saturday, with the championship earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. 

     

    For the Oral Roberts game, the projected starter is senior Preston Church. The southpaw sports a 3.56 ERA on the year and bosts a 3-4 record. He missed a month during the second half of the season, but has made two starts in the final two weeks of the season. Church pitched well against Oral Roberts last Friday, throwing five innings of one-run ball in Macomb. He allowed just three hits while striking out six batters in the no decision. 

     

    On the season, WIU is 1-4 against ORU, 1-5 in meetings with NDSU and 2-4 vs. SDSU. Western is the only Summit League team to win a road game against Oral Roberts, which finished the year 25-4 in league play. 

     

    I spoke with Western Illinois Head Baseball Coach Ryan Brownlee about the tournament and what his team needs to do to make a run in Tulsa. 


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  • In the opening game of its series with Oral Roberts, Western Illinois Baseball lost 16-5 Thursday afternoon at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium. The loss locked WIU into fourth place in the Summit League, which means these two teams will meet in the opening game of the league tournament in Tulsa on Wednesday. Western's record now sits at 18-29 on the year and 12-14 in Summit League play. ORU is now 38-14 overall and 24-4 in league games. 
     
    While sophomore right hander Ian Koch picked up the Leatherneck loss, he pitched well early, holding the top scoring team in the league to three runs through five innings. Junior Johnathan Fleek was locked in early at the plate, hitting that RBI single in the third inning, as he started the game off 2-2 at the dish. 
     
    In the sixth inning the wheels fell off for the Leathernecks. After Koch allowed three baserunners on his first four batters faced, reliever Pete Minella could not get WIU out of the jam. Four Golden Eagle runs came across that inning, moving the score to 7-5 in favor of ORU. 
     
    Oral Roberts scored nine more runs over the next three innings, including six in the ninth inning. The combination of Minella, Connor Rektorski, and J.T. Baksha out of the bullpen could not get much going, giving up a total of ten runs and three home runs. Western only put five more runners on base, while getting three additional hits. 
     
    With the final score reaching 16-5, Western lost to Oral Roberts for the third time this season. The teams meet at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium again today at 1:00 PM, for the second game of a three game series. 

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  • Coach Brownlee and I previewed the final series of the regular season for WIU. Western hosts Oral Roberts in a home series starting today and going through Saturday. The Summit League Tournament starts up Wednesday, where the 4th seeded Leathernecks are most likely set to play Oral Roberts in the first round of the double elimination tournament in Tulsa. 

     

    We also discussed the way Adam McGinnis has continued to excel this season, as he was named a Semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the top catcher in the nation. McGinnis leads the Summit League in a number of categories, including batting average and on-base percentage. 

     

    Here is my conversation with Coach Brownlee. 


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  • The Macomb High Baseball team took down Rock Island 6-3 on the road Tuesday afternoon. The game went nine innings, with a four run outburst in the ninth propelling the Bombers to victory. The win snaps a two-game losing streak for MHS, imrpoving the team's record to 10-16. 

     

    Macomb got on the board first, with a fielder's choice and an RBI single bringing in one run each. Junior Brandon Bickers was superb on the mound, not allowing any runs in his five innings of work. He only could throw five innings, after reaching the pitch count limit. In his time on the mound, he only allowed two hits and four walks, while striking out four batters. Sophomore Ben Higgins pitched the rest of the way for MHS. 

     

    In the bottom of the seventh inning with Macomb still up 2-0, the Bombers ran into some trouble. With two outs, an RBI single followed by a Macomb error brought in the two tying runs for Rock Island. With two runners on and two outs Higgins recorded the final out on a fly ball. The game moved to extra innings. 

     

    Neither team scored in the eighth, but MHS tacked on four ninth inning runs to take a commanding 6-2 lead. A two-run double by Bickers and a two-run single by Parker Schmalshof advanced the score to that. A Rock Island run came across in the bottom of the ninth on a passed ball, but Higgins was able to get out of the inning with the victory. 

     

    Macomb's next game will come Thursday afternoon, at Quincy High. 

     

     


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  • Games played on 05/15/2017
     
    Game scores In the Woodrum Ford Lincoln Toyota Pee Wee League are:
    WIU FOP 7 vs. Project Dance Company 10

Macomb Fire Dept 13 vs. United Community Bank 1


     
    Game scores in the First Christian Church Rookie League are:
    MTC Communications 4 vs. First State Bank 15

Scrapbook Nook 3 vs. Warning Systems Specialists 12


     
    Game scores in the Ramsey Financial Minor League are:
    Hy-Vee 14 vs. Ferris Autobody & Towing 9

 DRIVE 8 vs. Farmers & Merchants State Bank 10
     
    Game scores in the Chicks Major League are:
    McClure Dental 1 vs. McDaniel Accounting 16

 Tri County Seeds 17 vs. Rosy’s Pizza 1
     
    Games played on 05/16/2017
     
    Game scores In the Woodrum Ford Lincoln Toyota Pee Wee League are:
    Citizens Bank 12 vs. First Bankers Trust 0


     
    Game scores in the First Christian Church Rookie League are:
    Catch a Star 10 vs. Scrapbook Nook 13
    Buck's 1 vs. First State Bank 8
    


    Game scores in the Ramsey Financial Minor League are:
    Beck's Pest Control 14 vs. Ferris Auto body & Towing 7
    DRIVE 2 vs. 1st Farm Credit 20
    HyVee 11 vs. Edifice Remodel 12
     
    Game scores in the Chicks Major League are:
    Schmitz Plumbing & Heating 14 vs. Pepsi 3
     
    Games played on 05/15/2017
     
    Game scores In the Woodrum Ford Lincoln Toyota Pee Wee League are:
    United Community Bank 4 vs. WIU FOP 6

First Bankers Trust 2 vs. Macomb Fire Dept. 14


     
    Game scores in the First Christian Church Rookie League are:

Catch a Star 14 vs. Warning Systems Specialists 6


     
    Game scores in the Ramsey Financial Minor League are:
    Edifice Remodel 9 vs. Beck’s Pest Control 12

1st Farm Credit 15 vs. Ferris Autobody & Towing 6
     
    Game scores in the Chicks Major League are:

Pepsi 3 vs. McDaniel Accounting 3

Rosy’s Pizza 14 vs. McClure Dental 12
     
    Games played on 05/18/2017
     
    Game scores In the Woodrum Ford Lincoln Toyota Pee Wee League are:
    Project Dance Company 5 vs. Citizens Bank 4

     
    Game scores in the First Christian Church Rookie League are:


    MTC Communications 12 vs. Beck’s 0

     
    Game scores in the Ramsey Financial Minor League are:
    Farmers and Merchants State Bank vs. Edifice Remodel (unreported)
    

HyVee 6 vs. 1st Farm Credit 10

     
    Game scores in the Chicks Major League are:


    Schmitz Plumbing & Electrical 0 vs. Tri County Seeds
    17

McClure Dental 14 vs. Rosy’s Pizza 10


     


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  • The Leatherneck baseball team went 0-3 over the weekend at North Dakota State. Western lost 5-2 on Friday, 8-0 Saturday and 6-3 Sunday. The results push WIU down to fourth in the Summit League Standings with a 12-13 mark. South Dakota State, having won five straight games, jumps ahead of Western to third place in the standings. 

     

    WIU wraps up regular season play this week, when it hosts first place Oral Roberts. That series begins Thursday afternoon at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium, with games to follow Friday and Saturday. Western has already clinched a playoff berth, and is very likely locked into fourth place in the league. To move back into third, WIU would need to win two out of three against the Golden Eagles in Macomb, while also getting three losses from SDSU to Omaha. 


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  • The Western Illinois Softball team wrapped up its season Friday, losing games to IUPUI (9-4) and North Dakota State (6-3). Without winning the Summit League, Western had to rely on a spot in the 48-team National Invitational Softball Championship to keep its season alive. That opportunity did not present itself when the field was announced Sunday night. WIU's season concluded with a 22-32 record overall and a 11-7 Summit League mark. 

     

    The Leathernecks started the tournament off in dramatic fashion, defeating South Dakota State on a walkoff grand slam. Western then took down North Dakota State 4-3 on Thursday afternoon, setting up a showdown with the top seeded IUPUI Jags on Friday morning. 

     

    WIU was up for a majority of the game vs IUPUI, carrying a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning. At that point the wheels fell off for the Leathernecks, with the opposition scoring four runs in each of the two ensuing innings. Western was outhit 11-5 in the contest 

     

    The second game that day pinned the Leathernecks up against the same North Dakota State team they topped the day before. NDSU jumped ahead early, tacking on four runs in the first inning. Western got on the board in the third inning, punching in a run. The Leathernecks tacked on another in the fourth inning, cutting the gap to 4-2. With the Bison scoring another two runs in the fifth, that was as close as the score got. 

     

    This marked the first time since 2010 in which the team won two plus games at the Summit League Tournament. Junior Kelsey Marlow, along with sophomores Emily Ira and Hailey Duwa, were named to the All Tournament Team.


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