Hilltopper baseball claims first clean sweep

WKU outfielder Jackson Gray (51) swings at a pitch during the game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Nick Denes Field on March 14. WKU won 17-16.

Wyatt Sparkman

The WKU baseball program (8-7) began an eight-game homestand over the weekend against Bowling Green State. The Hilltoppers claimed their first sweep of the season over the Falcons outscoring them 28 to 21.

“I told them today it would be another challenge, another dogfight, and it certainly was and credit to our offense,” head coach John Pawlowski said of the game. “Our offense did an unbelievable job today, and I’m very proud of what they did and how they handled themselves today.”

Senior Ray Zuberer III was the Hilltoppers most consistent batter this weekend slashing for .533. He finished the weekend with eight hits, seven RBIs, and a homerun on Saturday. On Monday he was named C-USA Hitter of the Week.

On Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m., the Hilltoppers play a midweek game against Bellarmine.

The Knights come to WKU with a 3-10 record after being swept by Kennesaw State over the weekend.

“We will have an opportunity to play Tuesday and to practice on Tuesday prior to the game and definitely a lot of things to work on, but I like the fact that we had a chance to win four games, and we did,” Pawlowski said.

This weekend the Hilltoppers will close out their homestand with a three game series against Valparaiso (3-7).

Last season the Hilltoppers began the 2020 season against Valpo claiming a 2-1 series win. Overall WKU is 5-2 all-time against the Crusaders coming into the weekend series.

Game one against the Crusaders will be Friday at 5 p.m. with the starting pitcher still to be announced ahead of the contest. So far this season, redshirt sophomore Jake Kates has been getting the nod to start a weekend series.

Junior Sean Bergeron is another pitcher who has been a regular starting pitcher for WKU this season. Between Bergeron and Kates, the dominant pitching duo has combined for 50 strikeouts this season.

Games two and three this weekend are both slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Fans can watch all three games on the Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network Facebook page.

WKU has one more non-conference game to play against No.10 Louisville prior to the first Conference USA game of the spring.

On March 23, the Hilltoppers will play Louisville, with the first pitch
at 5 p.m. CT. Last season WKU was supposed to play the Cardinals at the Bowling Green Ballpark on March 24 before the season was postponed.

The Hilltoppers will then host Charlotte three days after playing Louisville March 26-28 for a four-game series.

As of Sunday, the 49ers are (8-6) after a series with No. 14 East Carolina. Charlotte was swept by the Pirates in a three-game series.

Baseball beat reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at steve. [email protected] Follow Wyatt on Twitter at @WyattSparkman3