IPFW rallies to top Western Illinois 4-3 in key game

FORT WAYNE, Ind.- The IPFW baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, as the Mastodons came from behind to defeat Western Illinois University 4-3, Friday afternoon at Mastodon Field in Fort Wayne. With the bases loaded, Shane Trevino (0-3, RBI) drew a walk to tie the game, and the next batter Grant Wilson (0-0, RBI) was hit by a pitch to bring home Kendall Whitman (1-4) to give IPFW the victory. Jordan Martin gained the pitching win in relief for the Mastodons (29-24, 12-16 Summit League), who won their eighth-straight game, against the visiting Leathernecks (14-34, 11-17 Summit League). The ‘Dons and WIU will play the middle game of the weekend series on Friday, May 20, at 2 p.m. in Fort Wayne.

IPFW fell behind early as Western Illinois scored a run in the second, third and fifth innings. The Mastodons began battling back with two runs in the seventh inning and two more in the ninth for the one-run margin of victory in comeback fashion. It was the ninth consecutive victory over the Leathernecks, dating back to the 2015 season.

In the seventh, Shannon Baker (0-3) drew a leadoff walk. One out later, Brandon Soat (1-3) singled through the left side to put runners on the corners. With two outs, Greg Kaiser (1-3, 2 RBIs) doubled to center, scoring Baker and Soat, pulling IPFW to within one, 3-2.

In the ninth, with one out Jackson Boyce (1-3) singled up the middle. Soat was hit by a pitch and Whitman followed with a single to right field, loading the bases. After Kaiser hit into a fielder’s choice, Trevino walked on five pitches to bring home Soat and tie the game. Wilson came to the plate and with a full count, took the seventh pitch of the at-bat between the numbers on his back, bringing home Whitman for the game-winning run.

Evan Miller started for IPFW and pitched the first 6 1-3 innings, scattering eight hits and three runs, with four strikeouts and four walks. Adam Neal pitched a scoreless 1 2-3 innings, yielding one hit, no strikeouts and no walks. Martin (2-0) tossed the final inning for the Mastodons, allowing one hit with no strikeouts and no walks.

WIU was led offensively by Chris Tschida (2-3) and Nathan Pollock (2-4, RBI). Nate Westfahl (1-1) pitched 2-3 an inning of relief in defeat for the Leathernecks, allowing two hits and two runs, all earned, with one strikeout and one walk.

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