Late Rallies Come Up Short for WLU Baseball
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – A pair of seventh inning rallies came up short for West Liberty here Saturday afternoon as Fairmont State swept a Mountain East Conference North Division doubleheader at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex.
The host Falcons (13-21, 11-15) eked out an 8-7 win in the first game before handing Coach Eric Burkle's Hilltoppers (16-17, 14-12) a 5-3 setback in the finale.
In the opener, Fairmont carried a 6-0 lead into the fourth inning before the Black and Gold began chipping away. After hitting the board with a single run in the fourth, WLU took advantage of three Falcon errors to add three more tallies and cut the lead to 6-4 after five innings.
Fairmont tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth and that turned out to be the difference as the Hilltoppers took advantage of more shaky Falcon fielding to plate three runs in the top of the seventh only to leave the tying run stranded on second.
Jason Schutte had a double, two singles and drove in a run for West Liberty while Ty Helmke added two singles and a double.
In the second game, two walks and back-to-back WLU errors in the bottom of the fourth led to four Fairmont runs as the Falcons erased a 2-1 Hilltopper lead to go up 5-2.
West Liberty loaded the bases with none out in the top of the seventh but got only one run out of it on a Chad Matthus sacrifice fly as Fairmont held to earn the sweep. Matthus had two of the visitors' six hits in the game.
The teams return to Bridgeport on Sunday for another MEC doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Fairmont State 8, West Liberty 7
West Liberty 000 130 3 – 7 8 1
Fairmont State 222 002 x – 8 8 5
WLU: Pennybacker lp (8SO, 4W). Sinisgalli (6) (3SO, 1W) and Rine. Schutte D, 2S, rbi; Helmke D, 2S;
FSU: Rotenberry wp (6SO, 5W), Seymour (6) (0SO, 0W), Ricketts (7) (0SO, 2W) and Ramos. Brown HR, T, 4rbi; Haskins HR, S, 2rbi; Sabatino 2S; Musgrove HR, rbi
Fairmont State 5, West Liberty 3
West Liberty 002 000 1 – 3 6 2
Fairmont State 100 400 x – 5 7 0
WLU: Brady lp (6SO, 3W), Aulick (5) (1SO, 0W) and Rine. Matthus 2S
FSU: Smith (3SO, 3W), Pane wp (4) (2SO, 1W) and Ramos. Green 2S, rbi; Musgrove 2S, rbi; Haskins S, rbi