WKU snaps eight-game losing streak against MTSU


Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Crittenberger (22) takes a cut at the ball from the Louisville Cardinal’s pitcher during their match up with the University of Louisville Cardinals on March 29th at Nick Denes Field.

Camden Bush, Baseball Reporter

The Hilltoppers snapped their eight-game skid defeating MTSU 7-3 Saturday afternoon.

WKU (10-16, 1-7 C-USA) stepped up in a game the team needed to win to get back on track. The Hilltoppers got off to an early lead and never looked back, pairing good pitching with good hitting.

WKU junior Devyn Terbrak helped the Hilltoppers get back in the win column with a strong start. He went eight innings, allowing three runs on nine hits with six strikeouts. MTSU sophomore Eriq Swan went only four innings allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits and four walks.

Eight different Hilltopper batters recorded a hit as the team had 10 as a whole. Junior Ricardo Leonett led the way with two base hits, including a solo home run. MTSU (12-14, 4-4 C-USA) failed to get much going aside from junior JT Mabry, recording three hits on the day.

Swan sat down the Hilltoppers in order in the top of the first to start the game. MTSU managed a one-out single in the bottom of the first but could not get anything else going in the inning.

WKU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a two-out solo home run by Leonett. Sophomore Jackson Galloway led off the bottom of the second with a double, but the Blue Raiders did not manage anything else in the inning.

The Hilltoppers scored a run in the top of the third on a passed ball to make it 2-0, as four batters reached in the inning on three walks and a single. MTSU tied the game in the bottom of the third. The Blue Raiders put a runner on base with a one-out single followed by back-to-back RBI doubles by senior Fausto Lopez and Mabry.

WKU regained the lead in the top of the fourth as the first four WKU batters reached base on three singles and a walk. Freshman Brodie Mackay and redshirt sophomore Ty Crittenberger both knocked in runs to make it 4-2. MTSU failed to score in the bottom of the fourth despite its lead-off batter reaching on an error.

Sophomore Jaden Hamm entered for MTSU in the fifth and pitched a scoreless inning despite allowing a walk and a single. Terbrak allowed a two-out single but nothing else in the bottom of the fifth. Hamm allowed back-to-back base runners to start the sixth but kept WKU off the board in the inning. Terbrak retired the Blue Raiders in order to end the sixth, striking out two.

Both teams went down in order in the seventh as Hamm struck out two in the top of the inning.

The first three Hilltoppers reached base in the top of the eighth before Crittenberger knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice. Junior Tristin Garcia made it 6-2 later in the inning with an RBI single of his own. Terbrak allowed a leadoff walk but nothing else in the bottom of the frame.

Graduate Brian McAuliffe made it a five-run game going into the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run to give WKU a 7-2 lead. MTSU started the bottom of the ninth with three straight singles to load the bases before scoring a run on a fielder’s choice. 

The Blue Raiders’ comeback attempt fell short with a strikeout and flyout as WKU claimed the 7-3 victory.

Up next, the Hilltoppers will face MTSU Sunday in the rubber match at 1 p.m. CT in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Baseball Reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected]