WKU swept by Marshall in season series


Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s starting pitcher Luke Stofel (30) throws to thrown a ball down to home plate during their game against the Belmont Bruins at Nick Denes Field on April 5th.

Camden Bush, Baseball Reporter

WKU Baseball dropped another contest in a 8-4 loss against Marshall Sunday afternoon.

The Hilltoppers’ pitching and hitting struggled again, leading to their ninth straight loss. The win for Marshall gave the Herd a three-game series sweep after the Hilltoppers took all eight matchups between the two last season.

The Hilltoppers’ losses have now doubled up their wins with the team sitting at 13-26 on the season and 4-14 in conference play. Marshall has done a complete turnaround from a 10-35 season last year to a 19-21-1 record overall and 8-10 record in conference play this year.

“I was excited to see Sean Bergeron back on the mound for us,” WKU head Coach John Pawlowski said. “It’s been quite a while, this is the first first conference game that he’s pitched in, since he has been out for a while, and he felt healthy.”

WKU senior Sean Bergeron returned to the mound after missing 24 games with an injury. Bergeron was on a pitch count and went just two innings in which he allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits. Sophomore Zac Addkison got the start for Marshall and went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits.

“I know he didn’t execute pitches the way he’s capable of, but he’ll be better next time out, I know that for sure,” Pawlowski said.

The Hilltopper offense did not get much going on the day aside from a three-run home run by sophomore Andrew Delaney in the first inning. The Thundering Herd, on the other hand, had a great day at the plate. Marshall tallied 15 hits and saw nine different batters record a hit, six of which recorded multiple.

Marshall’s offense got off to a very hot start, fueling a rowdy dugout. The Thundering Herd recorded four hits and took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Junior Luke Edwards knocked in a run with a groundout while junior Kyle Schaefer knocked in a run with a single. Marshall added another run on an error. 

Delaney managed to even the score with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the first. Delaney followed a couple of singles with a two-out, three-run home run to left field to tie the game 3-3.

Two Marshall runners reached base on a hit-by-pitch and an error in the top of the second, but Bergeron kept the score even. The Hilltoppers got a two-out single but nothing else in the bottom of the second. 

The Thundering Herd got a single to start the top of the third. Later in the inning, sophomore Cole Williams followed a double with an RBI single. Marshall then tallied two more runs on a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by senior Geordon Blanton to make it 6-3. WKU failed to put anyone on base in the bottom of the inning.

Marshall put two men on base with a walk and a single in the top of the fourth before senior Jordon Billups knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-3. The Hilltoppers went down in order in the bottom of the fourth.

Junior Travis Sankovich extended Marshall’s lead in the top of the fifth with an RBI single with two on base to make it 8-3.  Addkison recorded his third straight 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth. 

The Hilltoppers got a much-needed shutout inning in the top of the sixth despite a lead-off single. WKU’s leadoff batter walked in the bottom of the sixth but the squad did not get anything else going in the frame.

Both teams put a man on in the seventh but failed to do any further damage. 

The Herd once again put men on base in the top of the eighth to no avail. WKU junior Tristin Garcia cut the deficit to 8-4 with a sac fly RBI. The Hilltoppers failed to cut into Marshall’s lead the rest of the inning. 

Marshall failed to extend its lead in the top of the ninth, but WKU did not rally back, giving the Thundering Herd an 8-4 victory.

The Hilltoppers will be on the road for the next four games, starting with a game against Louisville at 5 p.m. on April 26 in Louisville.

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