West Liberty Baseball Drops Tourney Opener
BECKLEY, W.Va. – The West Liberty University baseball team dropped an 18-1 decision to nationally-ranked Charleston here Thursday in the opening round of the Mountain East Conference Tournament at Linda K. Epling Stadium.
Coach Eric Burkle's Hilltoppers (20-19), the No. 2 seed from the MEC North Division, will play No. 3 seed Alderson-Broaddus (19-17) Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the second game of the double-elimination tournament for both teams. The Battlers opened their postseason run with a 6-5 upset of West Virginia State on Thursday.
The Golden Eagles (31-6) came into the MEC Tournament ranked No. 16 in the latest NCAA Division II poll and more than lived up to their billing. After Charleston starter Logan Campbell struck out the side in the top of the first, UC exploded for five runs in the bottom of the frame and never looked back.
Campbell struck out 10 batters and gave up only two hits through the first six innings to get the win, improving to 9-0 on the season.
Campbell teamed with two Golden Eagle relievers to keep the Hilltopper offense in check. Seven West Liberty players had one hit – all singles – with Chad Matthus' 2-out RBI base knock in the top of the seventh putting the only run on the board.
Friday's surprising schedule opens with the tournament's two top seeds – West Virginia State (28-9) and Wheeling (27-13) – meeting in an elimination game at noon. Concord (16-21), the No. 3 seed from the South, blasted Wheeling by a 15-1 count in Thursday's second game.
Charleston and Concord close out Friday's slate with a winner's bracket game at 7 p.m.
Mountain East Conference Tournament
(at Beckley, W.Va.)
No. 16 Charleston 18, West Liberty 1
West Liberty 000 000 100 – 1 7 0
Charleston 500 315 04x – 18 18 1
WLU: Brady lp (1SO, 3W), Pennybacker (2) (1SO, 1W), Hurst (6) (3SO, 1W), Dingel (8) (0SO, 1W), Bernard (8) (1SO, 0W) and Rine. Matthus S, rbi
UC: Campbell wp (10SO, 4W), MacNeil (7) (1SO, 1W), Rush (9) (1SO, 1W) and Hefner. Costigan D, 3S, 4rbi; Cartt HR, D, S, 4rbi; Toussaint HR, 2S, 3rbi; Johnson D, S, rbi; Dellerman D, S; Heavilin D, 3rbi; Vincent S, rbi