WASHINGTON, Pa. – Regionally-ranked California (Pa.) scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning here Thursday to pull out an 8-6 come-from-behind win over West Liberty in a scheduled 9-inning baseball game at Wild Things Park.
The Hilltoppers (5-23) had come up with some two-out lightning to plate a pair of runs and take a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff single by Ethan Conley, WLU loaded the bases with two out on a walk and hit-by-pitch. Another hit-by-pitch followed by a bases-loaded walk sent the visitors into the bottom of the seventh with a one-run lead.
The West Liberty bullpen hung up a zero in the bottom of the frame but California (19-8) broke through in the bottom of the eighth. The first six Vulcans reached base and five of them came around to score as a three-run home run off the bat of Payton Conte gave the hosts an 8-4 lead.
Brad Goodyear belted a two-run home run for the Hilltoppers in the top of the ninth but it was too little, too late. Goodyear paced West Liberty's 10-hit attack with a home run, single and three RBIs. James Salvatori had a double and single while Kaden Blomquist doubled and knocked in a run. Jake Sherman also doubled for the Black and Gold.
West Liberty heads to South Euclid, Ohio this weekend for a Saturday-Sunday series with Mountain East Conference North Division rival Notre Dame. First pitch on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.
California (Pa.) 8, West Liberty 6
West Liberty 100 010 202 - 6 10 3
California (Pa.) 002 010 050 - 8 11 0
WLU: Bolander (2SO, 0W), Sinisgalli (3) (1SO, 1W), Hess (3) (0SO, 0W), Cerjan lp (7) (0SO, 0W), Clark (9) (0SO, 0W) and Rine. Goodyear HR, S, 3rbi; J.Salvatori D, S; Blomquist D, rbi; Sherman D
CUP: Woolf (4SO, 1W), Bobin (5) (1SO, 0W), Phillips (7) (0SO, 1W), Naylor wp (7) (2SO, 1W), Conte (9) (1SO, 0W) and Brady. Crawford 3S, rbi; P.Conte HR, D, 3rbi; McCaskey D, S, 4rbi; L.Conte 2S