Western Illinois Baseball opens up Summit League Tournament play today against North Dakota State in Tulsa. The second-seeded Leathernecks come in with a 14-12 league record, and five players with all-league honors, following last night's season awards banquet.
WIU has two players on the All-Summit League First Team. Junior outfielder Steve McShane, and junior pitcher Ian Koch earned spots on the team.
McShane is batting .331 on the year with 45 hits, 18 runs, and 14 RBI, and ranks third on the team with nine stolen bases. The Freeport, IL native represents Western with postseason awards in two sports, as he earned All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second Team honors in the fall for his success at running back for the Leathernecks.
Koch ranks third in the Summit League in strikeouts (75), sixth in innings pitched (79.2) and seventh in ERA (4.18). The Crystal Lake, IL native received second team honors in 2017.
Western also had three players crack the All-Summit League Second Team. Senior pitcher Ryan Dunne, junior catcher CJ Schaeffer and redshirt-freshman designated hitter Alex Dorethy made the second team.
Dunne leads the Summit League in strikeouts (93) and ties for 65th in the nation in the category. He's averaging 10.78 strikeouts per game, dealing nine in each of his last three starts and a career-high 10 versus Oral Roberts (April 7). The Peoria native completes his first and only season with WIU, following a year at Missouri State and two seasons at John A. Logan Community College.
Schaeffer leads the Summit League in runners caught stealing (18) and just before the Leathernecks' final league series, he was hitting a league-leading .395 against Summit opponents. The Lake St. Louis, Mo., native finished his first season as the team's starting catcher with a .283 average, 41 hits (11 for extra bases) and 11 RBI.
Dorethy is batting .314 (third most on the team) with 37 hits – four home runs – and 27 RBI (second most on the team). The Ipava, IL native pitched throughout the season, but found great success during the backend of the season in the heart of the Leatherneck batting order at DH.
WIU Head Baseball Coach Ryan Brownlee discussed these awards, and previewed the Summit League Tournament with me. You can listen to our conversation here.