Gents Fall To Leathernecks In Mid-Con Tourney, 5-3
Thursday, May 27, 2004

SHREVEPORT – The Western Illinois Leathernecks got an early lead and held on to win their first Mid-Con Tournament first round game since 1998, a 5-3 victory over the Centenary Gents Thursday night at Shehee Stadium.

Western Illinois jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning with one out. Ryan Cougill singled to center field and Blake Schultz continued to feast on Centenary pitching with an RBI double to the gap in right-center field, scoring Cougill. The Leathernecks added another run in the second inning when Pete Tronick doubled down the right field line, scoring Kyle Malan.

With two outs in the top of the third inning and Jordan Standefer on first base, David Kiefer singled to left field. Leatherneck leftfielder Malan booted the ball, allowing Standefer to come around and score.

The combination of Cougill and Schultz brought the Leatherneck lead back to two runs in the fifth inning when Cougill singled and Schultz drove him in on a double to make the score 3-1. After Aaron Milliken reached on an error and Nick Simmons was intentionally walked, Malan singled home Schultz and Milliken to give Western Illinois a 5-1 lead.

Centenary started a threat in the top of the seventh inning with singles by Standefer and Bobby Gilliam, followed by a walk to Kiefer. After Jesse Newell struck out, Blake Adkison laced a single to center field to drive in two runs and cut the Leatherneck lead to 5-3. After a pitching change, A.J. Howes popped up to third base to end the rally.

Until the seventh inning rally, Western Illinois starter Pat Kohorst, who moved into a tie for third place on the Leathernecks’ single-season win list, pitched a solid game and received the win, with reliever Corey Ferger pitching 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief to pick up the save. Centenary starter David Ruffing took the loss, giving up all five runs.

Centenary must now play Southern Utah in an elimination game Friday at noon, while Western Illinois faces Oral Roberts in a winner’s bracket game at 3:30 p.m.