Hilltoppers split day two against MTSU

WKU pitcher Devyn Terbrak (43) pitching during against Marshall at Nick Denes Field on Apr. 10, 2021. 

Wyatt Sparkman & Drew Toennies

WKU (17-18), (7-8, C-USA), continued its four game series against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (18-15-1), (7-7-1, C-USA) on a gloomy Saturday afternoon in Bowling Green, following a 7-5 the night before. 

The Hilltoppers were shut out in game one 3-0 and won game two 5-4. 

“Any time you have a chance to win a conference game, every game is tough and every game is a challenge, it is important tomorrow,” Pawlowski said about what split with MTSU will mean. 

Game 1

Junior Sean Bergeron got the nod from Pawlowski to start for WKU in the first game on Saturday. In his ninth appearance this season he pitched for seven innings while allowing three Blue Raider runs to score. Bergeron picked up two strikeouts over MTSU. 

“I felt like Sean Bergeron made a couple mistakes, but he gave us seven innings and saved our bullpen,” Pawlowski said.

MTSU junior Peyton Wigginton started the second game of the series for the Blue Raiders and went on to pitch seven innings while striking out six Hilltoppers. Wigginton surrendered two hits in the bottom of the seventh inning on the verge of his first career no-hitter. 

“I thought their starting pitcher was outstanding,” Pawlowski said. “He kept us off balance, he moved his fastball around, and we didn’t hit too many ball hard. We were fortunate to come up with a couple hits.” 

The Hilltoppers had a rough game one as MTSU junior pitcher Peyton Wigginton held the Hilltoppers to zero hits for six total innings.

An early offensive effort from MTSU sophomore Brett Coker resulted in a home run that flew into left field and resulted in two runs for the Blue Raiders.

MTSU redshirt junior Fausto Lopez would make it to home plate at the top of the third inning to extend the MTSU lead to three.

At the top of the first inning, with two outs, MTSU sophomore Brett Coker smacked a homerun into the left-field to set a scoring run in motion for MTSU. The Blue Raiders took an early 2-0 lead.

At the top of the third inning, MTSU redshirt junior Fausto Lopez made it from third base to home plate, barely dodging a tag, to put another point on the board for the Blue Raiders. WKU went three up and three down to end the third frame of play. 

After allowing three points on the board, the Hilltoppers were able to adjust as WKU junior Sean Bergeron managed to throw two strikeouts at the top of the fourth and held the Blue Raiders to zero points as they barely tagged MTSU junior Brysen Thomas before he could slide to home plate.

MTSU junior pitcher Peyton Wigginton managed to stop the Hilltoppers at the bottom of the fifth inning as sophomore Jackson Gray, senior Richard Constantine, and sophomore Jackson Swiney were all unable to get to first base as the game entered the top of the sixth inning

At the bottom of the seventh, senior Ray Zuberer III takes first base, but with two outs, WKU was unable to pull off the comeback and would fall 3-0

The Blue Raiders would continue to play consistent baseball and would take the first game of the day 

The Hilltoppers were unable to get any offensive run going as Wigginton was able to throw six strikeouts with six fly outs and five ground outs.

After Wigginton had not allowed a WKU hit through six innings, WKU had a final push to comeback and ended up getting to third base before the receiving their third out 

Senior Ray Zuberer III spoiled Wigginton’s no-hitter swinging for a single to center field. Gray was then able to reach first base on a single to right field to place WKU runners in scoring position. 

Constantine reached first base on a fielder’s choice but Gray was tagged out at second to end the game. MTSU shutout the Hilltoppers 3-0 to go up two games in the series. 

Game 2 

WKU sophomore Devyn Terbrak made his sixth start of the season against the Blue Raiders for the second day of the game. Terbrak tossed for 6.2 innings picking up four strikeouts while allowing three runs to score.

“The games before I noticed that they swing at a bunch of fastballs up and they’re not too good at hitting those, so I just tried going with and seeing what happened,” Terbrak said.   

Redshirt junior Trent Seibert started for MTSU tossing for four innings while giving up five runs on six hits. 

Freshman Jacob Williams knocked in the first run on the back end of the doubleheader with a single to left field scoring Lopez. Junior Justin Carlin retaliated hitting his second homerun of the season to knot the game up at 1-1 to close the scoring in the first frame. 

“We wanted to come out of the game early of game two and kind of get ahead or at least get some good swings, get our bats going,” Carlin said. “I feel like we did.”  

Both programs had nothing to show for in the second inning. WKU left two one base after Constaintine and senior Matt Phipps hit singles. 

Then Jackson Gray smacked his fourth homerun of the season to extend WKU’s lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning. 

WKU would then explode for three runs two innings later to pull away from the Blue Raiders to claim a 5-1 lead. Zuberer scored on a wild pitch then Carlin and Gray scored courtesy of a single from sophomore Matthew Meyer. 

The Blue Raiders mustered two more runs before redshirt sophomore Mason Vinyard came in relief on the mound for Terbrak.

WKU held on to win 5-4 over the Blue Raiders heading into the series finale. 

Up next WKU will close out its series with MTSU on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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