WKU, Pawlowski swept in final 2022 series


WKU Athletics

The WKU Hilltoppers baseball team embrace one another before their game against Marshall College on April 11, 2021 at Nick Denes Field where WKU won 8-1.

Camden Bush, Baseball Reporter

The Hilltoppers (18-36, 7-23 C-USA) were swept by the Old Dominion Monarchs (38-15, 19-11 C-USA) at Nick Denes Field in their final series of the year.

“It’s always hard when the final out of the season is made,” head coach John Pawlowski said. “But I’m proud of these guys and how they went about their season.”

It was Pawlowski’s final game as skipper for the Hilltoppers, who announced on Wednesday his intention to resign from the program following the season to pursue other opportunities.


“We’ve had some great relationships here and those will go far beyond the wins and losses,” Pawlowski said.

The series loss for WKU comes a week after the Hilltoppers were swept at Louisiana Tech. WKU will not make it back to the Conference USA Tournament, as only the top eight teams in the league qualify. WKU finished dead last in conference play.

Game 1

WKU’s series got off to a bad start, blowing an early lead en route to a 5-3 loss in game one.

Despite not claiming the win, WKU junior Devyn Terbrak put together another great start Thursday. Terbrak went 7.1 innings and allowed only two runs on five hits and six strikeouts. Freshman Blake Morgan got the start for the Monarchs and went five innings, allowing one run on four hits. 

Junior Tristin Garcia led the Hilltoppers offense with two hits on a day in which the club tallied only six hits in total. Senior Matt Coutney led a Monarch’s offense that also only tallied six hits. Coutney had two of those hits to go along with three RBIs.

The game got off to a slow start as no one scored through the first three innings. Senior Justin Carlin gave WKU the run of the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Ty Batusich then knocked in two more for WKU in the sixth with an RBI double to make it 3-0. 

The Monarchs followed with a solo home run of their own in the seventh for their first run. Old Dominion then added four more runs in the eighth with a walk and a three-run shot by Coutney to seal the 5-3 victory.

Game 2

Old Dominion blew out WKU in game two of the series 11-4.

Sophomore Luke Stofel got the start for WKU on Friday and did not last long. Stofel went only two innings and allowed two runs on two hits and four walks. Redshirt senior Nick Pantos got the start for Old Dominion and went 4.2 innings. Pantos allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits. 

The Hilltoppers had a better day at the plate Friday as three different batters recorded two hits. Junior Jackson Gray tallied two hits for WKU along with an RBI. The Monarchs offense exploded for 11 runs on 15 hits. Coutney had another monster day at the plate as he tallied three hits and five RBIs. 

Old Dominion scored the game’s first runs in the third as Coutney launched a grand slam and the Monarchs got a solo home run to make it 5-0. The Hilltoppers responded with two runs in the bottom of the third and another in the fourth.

The Monarchs then tallied four more runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to make it  a 10-3 ballgame. Both teams then added solo runs in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth that led to Old Dominion’s 11-4 victory.

Game 3

Old Dominion completed the sweep over the Hilltoppers Saturday with a 5-4 victory.

Senior Sean Bergeron got the start in WKU’s final game of the year. Bergeron went six innings and allowed five runs on six hits with seven strikeouts. Sophomore Sam Armstrong got the start for Old Dominion and went six innings, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits.

Redshirt sophomore Hunter Evans led a Hilltopper offense that had a slow day at the plate Saturday. Evans tallied two hits, including a solo home run. Sophomore Chris Dengler led the Monarchs offense to victory with three RBIs on the day.

WKU got off to a quick start as Gray got an RBI single in the first to make it 1-0. Dengler then launched a three-run home run for Old Dominion to make it 3-1. Evans responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the second before Old Dominion got a two-run home run in the top of the third. 

The two-run shot made it a 5-2 game before Carlin launched a two-run home run of his own to make it 5-4 in the ninth, but the Monarchs held on for the victory.

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