Hilltopper Bats Explode in Doubleheader Sweep
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The surging West Liberty University baseball team broke out the heavy artillery hereMonday afternoonpounding out 22 hits and plating 25 runs to sweep West Virginia Wesleyan in a Mountain East Conference twinbill.
Coach Eric Burkle's Hilltoppers (8-7, 6-2) outgunned the winless Bobcats (0-4, 0-4) by scores of 13-8 and 12-8 on a bright but chilly afternoon at Kovalick Field. The Black and Gold have now won five of their last six outings.
Reigning MEC Player of the Week Ty Helmke continued to swing a hot bat, driving in five runs in the opener with a three-run homer and a two-run double before raking out a single and double in the second game. Senior Brian Campbell added three singles and an RBI in the first game and cranked out a three-run homer in the finale.
West Liberty scored in every inning but the first in Game One, carrying a 13-2 lead into the seventh inning before Wesleyan batted around to make the final margin a bit more respectable.
Chad Matthus backed Campbell and Helmke with a pair of singles while Kaden Blomquist, Colton Coss and Sam Leach all singled and drove in a run. Ian Brady didn't allow an earned run over the first five innings to get the win on the mound with five strikeouts and no walks.
The Hilltoppers played a little long ball to put game two on ice. Leading 3-1 heading into the bottom of the third, West Liberty got a three-run homer from Campbell and a grand slam off the bat of Zach Hawkins to highlight a nine-run third inning and open up a 12-1 lead.
Wesleyan spent the rest of the game chipping away at the deficit but it was too little, too late.
Jason Schutte drove in two runs with a pair of singles for WLU while Blomquist doubled and scored a run.
The Hilltoppers will look to keep it rolling on Friday when they head south fora 1 p.m.doubleheader against West Virginia State.
West Liberty 13, W.Va. Wesleyan 8
W.Va. Wesleyan 002 000 6 – 8 5 4
West Liberty 032 152 x – 13 12 5
WVWC: Courtney lp (2SO, 2W), Napoleon (3) (2SO, 2W), Ostendorf (6) (1SO, 3W) and Forbrick. Ingram S, 2rbi; Grotti S, rbi; Sostre S, rbi; Fluke D
WLU: Brady wp (5SO, 0W), Sinisgalli (6) (2SO, 0W), Dobson (7) (1SO, 4W) and Fike. Campbell 3S, rbi; Helmke HR, D, 5rbi; Matthus 2S; K.Blomquist S, rbi; Leach S, rbi; Coss S, rbi
West Liberty 12, W.Va. Wesleyan 8
W.Va. Wesleyan 001 040 3 – 8 7 3
West Liberty 219 000 x – 12 10 4
WVWC: Tallman lp (2SO, 1W), Hakey (3) (2SO, 1W), Baker (6) (1SO, 0W) and Forbrick. Forbrick D, 2S, rbi; McCallister D, S, 3rbi; Poplin D, rbi
WLU: Grimm wp (5SO, 4W), Geis (5) (0SO, 2W), Bolander (6) (2SO, 0W) and Hawkins. Helmke D, S; Schutte 2S, 2rbi; Hawkins HR, 4rbi; Campbell HR, 3rbi; K.Blomquist D