WKU Baseball clinches series win with Mother’s Day victory

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Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Batusich (9) looks to the Hilltopper’s 3rd base coach for a call during their game against the Belmont Bruins at Nick Denes Field on April 5th.

Camden Bush, Baseball Reporter

The Hilltoppers(16-30, 7-17 C-USA) defeated the UAB  Blazers (27-11, 11-13 C-USA) in their three-game weekend series that concluded on Mothers’ Day at Nick Denes Field.

The Hilltoppers claimed their second C-USA series victory of the season with victories on Friday and Sunday.

Junior Matthew Meyer carried the Hilltoppers to a series victory with three strong performances. Meyer tallied two hits in each of the three games over the weekend, including two home runs Friday night.

Game 1: WKU 7, UAB 3

The Hilltoppers got off to a good start in the three-game set Friday night, taking game one 7-3. 

“The guys competed really well today in the box and put some runs on the board,” head coach John Pawlowski said. “We were really aggressive”.

Junior Devyn Terbrak got the start and put together a solid outing. Terbrak went eight innings and allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out nine. Terbrak out-dueled UAB senior Jackson Reynolds, who only went 3.2 innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. 

Meyer carried the Hilltoppers’ offense on Friday. He had a dominant day at the plate in which he tallied two home runs and four RBIs. Sophomore Darryl Buggs was one of few bright spots for the Blazers Friday night as he contributed three base hits.

WKU got some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to Meyer’s three-run home run, his second blast of the evening, and held on to the lead for the 7-3 victory.

Game 2: UAB 7, WKU 1 

WKU failed to win game two of the series on Saturday. The Blazers easily handled the Hilltoppers 7-1.

Sophomore Luke Stofel took the mound for WKU, going five innings and giving up seven runs on six hits. UAB Sophomore Leo Harris outplayed Stofel and picked up the win, going eight innings and allowing only one run on six hits and six strikeouts.

The Blazers got off to a quick start, putting up two runs in the top of the first. The Hilltoppers could not manage to score until the bottom of the third, making it a 2-1 ballgame after a sacrifice fly. The UAB offense exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth and the Hilltoppers failed to mount a comeback.

The Hilltoppers’ offense only managed six hits in game two but Meyer continued his strong weekend with two more base hits. Darryl Buggs put together a strong performance for UAB with one RBI and two runs.

Game 3: WKU 5, UAB 3

The Hilltoppers came out on top of a tight contest in the rubber match of the series Sunday afternoon. WKU won 5-3.

“It was a great win for the Tops,” Pawlowski said. “Good crowd, great weather, and we won the series. I’m really proud of the way our guys competed.”

WKU senior Sean Bergeron had a solid day on the mound, going seven innings. Bergeron allowed three runs on six hits and eight strikeouts. UAB redshirt junior Brooks Walton recorded the loss. Brooks went 2.2 innings, allowing two earned runs and two unearned runs on six hits and two walks.

WKU’s offense was led by Meyer and redshirt sophomore Ty Crittenberger, who each tallied two hits on the day. Crittenberger also walked twice. UAB’s offense failed to get much going as senior Caleb Floyd was the only batter to record more than one hit.

Both teams got off to a slow start across the first three innings until the Hilltoppers produced four runs in the bottom of the third thanks to a steal, an RBI double, an error and a sacrifice fly. The Blazers responded with an RBI double and a two-RBI single in the top of the fourth to make it 4-3. The Hilltoppers then tacked on  one more run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth and hung on to the lead for a 5-3 victory.

Up next, the Hilltoppers will travel to Clarksville, Tennessee where they will face Austin Peay at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, May 10.

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