Leathernecks Open OVC Play With UT Martin


Who | UT-Martin
Where | Macomb, IL 
When | Mar. 21-23
Social Media | Instagram & Twitter

Time Change
Western Illinois’s three-game series against UT-Martin was shifted up a day due to possible incoming weather. Originally set for Friday-Sunday, the Leathernecks and Skyhawks will now play Thursday-Saturday. Times are slated for 3:00 PM Thursday, 2:00 PM Friday, and 1:00 PM Saturday.

Liam Stay Hot
Liam Bushey was on a tear in the batter’s box last week for Western Illinois. The Leathernecks right fielder batted .588, slugging at a .882 clip. The junior drove in four RBI with two doubles and a home run. Bushey scored four times and drove in the game-winning run against power five Cincinnati.

Power Five Win
Western Illinois’s 12-11 win against Cincinnati on March 12th was the first win for the Leathernecks against a Big 12 opponent since 2009 when they defeated Oklahoma State. In 2008, WIU beat Missouri when they were part of the Big 12 Conference.

King of K’s
Caden Kratz had a dominant weekend out of the bullpen, picking up two saves against Eastern Kentucky. Kratz dealt a total of 3.0 innings, striking out six well and not allowing a walk. 

Player of the Week
Western Illinois catcher Adam Juran has been named Ohio Valley Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday (February 19th) afternoon. This is Western Illinois and Juran’s first honor since joining the OVC.

Juran started the season red-hot from both the offensive and defensive sides. In the batter’s box, he hit .333 with a pair of home runs. Juran also posted three walks well, batting a 1.611 OPS on the weekend. Juran led the team with ten total bases, two home runs, 1.111 slg%, and 1.611 OPS. Juran posted a 1.000 FLD% on the defensive side with 13 putouts and three assists. Well, throwing out three baserunners, including a strike-them-out throw-them-out to end Friday’s game.

Big First Win
With Western Illinois 6-5 over Austin Peay, Head Coach Terry Davis earned his first win as a skipper of Western Illinois. Davis is the first head coach since 1955 to start his Leatherneck coaching career 1-0.

New Era
Western Illinois Athletics joined the Ohio Valley Conference on July 1st. They became the 11th member to join the conference, and every team transitioned to the OVC as of January 1st.

New Look
Western Illinois will be wearing a new style this upcoming weekend. The Leathernecks were lucky enough to receive a donation from the 1974 Hall of Fame Baseball team that allowed them to buy new purple and white uniforms. The team donated the funding as part of a celebration of its 50th Anniversary. The 1974 team made the NCAA regional tournament and was inducted into the Western Illinois Hall of Fame in 2019.

Raising Money
The Leatherneck Baseball team got the spring 2024 season off to a great start, raising more than $18,000 at their First Pitch Dinner on February 3rd, 2024. The Park Place of Macomb event brought together the community, Leatherneck baseball alumni, and the 2024 team and coaching staff to support the baseball program. The money raised is allocated to various aspects of the baseball program, including upgrades to training facilities, equipment, and new software to aid player development and recruiting. Western Illinois Athletics and the Leatherneck Baseball team would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to all those in attendance at this year’s event.

50th Anniversary
Western Illinois Baseball will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1974 Hall of Fame team this season. The 1974 team went 31-12 in the year for the most single-season wins at that time and second most today. The campaign concluded with a trip to the NCAA Division II Mideast Regional. The postseason appearance marked the first-ever for WIU baseball. This team is arguably one of the greatest Leatherneck Baseball teams to ever step on the diamond.

***Courtesy of Western Illinois University***

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