Doubleheader results in pair of losses for Leathernecks at No. 16 Oklahoma
Courtesy: Brock Wissmiller  
Release: Wednesday 02/21/2009
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Courtesy: Brock Wissmiller/Western Illinois Athletics
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Tyler Metcalf extended his hitting streak to 11 games in the...

NORMAN, Okla. - For the second straight day the Western Illinois baseball team could not overcome No. 16 Oklahoma, dropping a doubleheader, 6-1 and 14-3, at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Game 1
In the top of the second, the Leathernecks (0-2) nearly opened up the scoring. Andrew Hagins earned a walk with one away. After a pop up for the second out, Darren Spicer ripped a ball to deep center field that was kept in the ball park by a strong wind. Hagins was gunned down at the plate on a relay from the short stop, keeping the game scoreless.

The Sooners (2-0) looked to take advantage in the home half of the inning with runner on from a one-out single. Western starter John Sneegas induced a ground ball to short for an inning-ending double play.

Patience at the plate paid off the next inning for Western by getting the leadoff hitter, Jared Wolf, on with a walk. He was able to move up to second on a Lorenzo Gallaga sac bunt and with two away, Cooper Stewart singled up the middle for his first RBI of the year, giving the Leathernecks their first lead of the weekend, 1-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Oklahoma picked up an unearned run to tie the game after a first-and-third double steal situation forced a throwing error on the Leathernecks.

Two innings later, an RBI-double and a wild pitch with the bases loaded gave the Sooners the lead for good, 3-1. They would double their run total in the seventh by putting three more on the board to wrap up the 6-1 victory.

Sneegas made his first career start, scattering five hits over five innings with one walk and two strikeouts, while surrendering three runs, two of which were earned.

“Sneegas went and threw five great innings of baseball,” said western Illinois head coach Stan Hyman. “John was around the strike zone all game. Coach Golloway (Oklahoma head coach) talked to me after the game and said he was impressed and to tell John what a great game he threw. We have found two starters to go along with Eric Eden. Yesterday it was Jordan Faller and today Sneegas. Knowing we are going to have two lefties in the rotation is a great feeling.”

Eden made his first appearance on the hill for Western since April 18, 2008. He went 1.2 innings, allowing two runs while striking out one and walking one.

Game 2
The Leathernecks (0-3) offense looked to get things going early as Cole Waddell led the game off with a single to right. Stewart moved Waddell 90-feet with a sac bunt two batters before Drew Laidig doubled off the wall in right to collect his first RBI of the year.

Answering with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first, the Sooners (3-0) quickly tied the game, 1-1.

Back-to-back singles with two outs in the second by Dan Johnson and Tyler Tilbury were not enough to keep a rally going and the score remained 1-1 into the bottom of the second.

That proved costly as OU loaded the bases twice in the bottom half of the inning. The first time a ground out to second resulted in a run crossing the plate and the lead going in favor of the Sooners, 2-1. The second time a deep fly to right carried over the wall for a grand slam, making it 6-1. They would add two more in the third and put another five-spot on the board in the fifth to extend their lead to 13-1.

After the offense went quiet for five innings, Kenny Price collected his first hit of the season to lead off the top of the sixth. Laidig followed with a long single into the gap in right that allowed Price to go first-to-third on the hit. Andrew Hagins then delivered the first Leatherneck home run of the season, a three-run shot to right to cut the score to 13-4.

Oklahoma responded with two runs in the home half of the inning, for a final score of 15-4.

Sophomore right-hander Chris Fuchs made his first career start for Western after appearing in 15 games as a true freshman. He lasted three innings, giving up six earned runs while collecting one strikeout and walking three. Stewart made his first career appearance on the hill, coming in to relieve Fuchs in the fourth. The normal starting catcher for Western surrendered no hits over one inning in his pitching debut.

Metcalf picked up a single in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, dating back to May 15, 2008.

“Hitting the baseball, I think we were making adjustments all day,” Hyman added. “I thought we did a much better job than yesterday. What hurt us, particularly in game one, was little mistakes.”

The weekend series for the Leathernecks and Sooners concludes Sunday, February 22, with a 1 p.m. first pitch.
WIU Baseball


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