Late Rally Lifts WLU Baseball Past Bobcats

FROSTBURG, Md. – The West Liberty University baseball team exploded for eight runs in the final two innings here Sunday to hand MEC North frontrunner Frostburg State an 11-6 loss in the second game of a doubleheader at Bob Wells Field.

   The win avenged a 12-5 loss to the Bobcats (28-10, 18-6) in the opener and gave Coach Eric Burkle's Hilltoppers (11-30, 11-13) a split of the weekend road series.

   Frostburg had scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to overcome a 3-0 West Liberty lead and took that 4-3 lead into the sixth before the Hilltopper bats took center stage, with the help of some aggressive baserunning and a shaky Bobcat defense.

   The Black and Gold combined two hits, two walks, a passed ball and a pair of timely FSU errors with four stolen bases to score five runs – all unearned – and take an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth.

   The Bobcats cut the lead in half with a two-run homer off reliever Drake Dobson in the sixth but the WLU bats went right back to work in the top of the seventh.

   Two singles and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out. Ty Helmke walked to force in a run and Jake Sherman followed with a two-run single up the middle to put the game out of reach. Dobson put the Bobcats down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.

   Zach Hawkins paced a 12-hit barrage for WLU with a double, three singles and an RBI. Helmke drove in two runs with a double and single while Sherman added two singles and a pair of RBIs. Jarrett Delbrugge smacked out two singles and Kayne McGee doubled.

   West Liberty got off to a flying start in the opener with four runs in the top of the first but Frostburg answered with six runs in the bottom of the frame and spent the rest of the game adding to the margin.

   Three players accounted for 10 of WLU's 11 hits. Ryan Talbert went 4-for-4 with a triple and three singles to chase home three runs while Sherman also had a 4-for-4 game, stroking out four singles. Isaac Rine singled twice and drove in another run.

   The Hilltoppers close out their non-conference schedule at home on Tuesday when they host regionally-ranked Seton Hill (Pa.) in a scheduled 9-inning game. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Kovalick Field.



Frostburg State 12, West Liberty 5

West Liberty                         400 001 0 -  5 11 1

Frostburg State                    613 020 x - 12 12 1

    WLU: Grimm lp (0SO, 1W), Hess (3) (3SO, 0W), Cerjan (6) (1SO, 0W) and Rine. Talbert T, 3S, 3rbi; Sherman 4S; Rine 2S, rbi

    FSU: Ford (7SO, 3W), Trey wp (7SO, 0W) and Duda. Jackson D, 2S, 2rbi; Jones 2S, 2rbi; Kiple 2S, rbi; Estrada 2S; Lawrence S, 2rbi; Smith S, 2rbi; Duda S, rbi


West Liberty 11, Frostburg State 6

West Liberty                         030 005 3 - 11 12 1

Frostburg State                    000 402 0 -  6   8 3

    WLU: Clark (3SO, 1W), Bolander (4) (0SO, 0)W), Cerjan (4) (0SO, 0W), Dobson wp (5) (5SO, 0W) and Rine. Hawkins D, 3S, rbi; Helmke D, S, 2rbi; Sherman 2S, 2rbi; Delbrugge 2S; McGee D

    FSU: Grove (0SO, 1W), Colliflower (3) (2SO, 0W), Maruskin lp (5) (1SO, 1W), Bacon (6) (0SO, 1W), Huyer (7) (1SO, 0W) and Jimenez. Kiple HR, 2S, 4rbi; Jackson 2S, rbi; Jones S, rbi; Smith D

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