WLU's Pennybacker Fires 2-Hit Shutout
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The West Liberty University baseball team split a Mountain East Conference doubleheader with Davis & Elkins Saturday afternoon at Kovalick Field.
Coach Eric Burkle's Hilltoppers (6-7, 4-2) breezed to a 4-0 win in the opener only to see the Senators (2-4, 2-4) rally for a 3-2 win in the finale to salvage a split.
Justin Pennybacker led the way for the Black and Gold in the first game, going the distance on the mound for a masterful two-hit shutout. The former Brooke High standout didn't allow a runner past second base while striking out three and issuing just one walk.
West Liberty scored an unearned run on a passed ball in the bottom of the first but didn't score again until a three-run rally in the sixth, aided by a pair of Davis & Elkins errors.
The Hilltoppers had only five hits in the game but made the most of them. Chad Matthus had a double and single while Jason Schutte added a pair of singles. Ross Salvatori had an RBI single to highlight the sixth-inning uprising.
In the second game, Tyler Blomquist carried a 2-0 shutout into the top of the sixth only to see the Senators plate three two-out runs to grab a late lead and the WLU offense couldn't respond.
Ty Helmke tripled in West Liberty's first run in the top of the second and Salvatori followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead but three D&E hurlers blanked the Black and Gold on just two hits the rest of the way.
The Hilltoppers are scheduled to host West Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday in another MEC doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Kovalick Field.
West Liberty 4, Davis & Elkins 0
Davis & Elkins000 000 0 – 023
West Liberty100 003 0 – 471
D&E: Larimore lp (7SO, 2W), Teixeira (6) (0SO, 0W) and McMillion.
WLU: Pennybacker wp (3SO, 1W) and Rine. Matthus D, S; Schutte 2S; Salvatori S, rbi
Davis & Elkins 3, West Liberty 2
Davis & Elkins000 003 0 – 352
West Liberty020 000 0 – 242
D&E: Torres wp (4SO, 4W), Burke (6) (1SO, 0W), Vizcaya (6) (0SO, 0W) and Hitch. Diaz D, 2rbi; Arcaro S, rbi; Castaneda D
WLU: T.Blomquist lp (2SO, 2W), Bolander (7) (0SO, 0W) and Rine. Helmke T, rbi; Salvatori S, rbi