WKU Baseball sweeps Dayton in three game series


Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Crittenberger (22) rounds the corner at second base after his hit to make a triple play during their match up with the University of Louisville Cardinals on March 29th at Nick Denes Field.

Camden Bush

WKU Baseball capped off its opening weekend with a 7-1 win Sunday, Feb. 19 over the University of Dayton to secure the three-game series sweep.

The 2023 Hilltoppers have now already tied the amount of series sweeps last year’s club had, just one series into the season. 

“I’m happy for the guys, those returners, they’re wanting this,” Head coach Marc Rardin said. “They’ve worked at it and they’ve given in to me, and being open and really receptive to me. So you know, it’s a good weekend to start.”

The Hilltoppers offense exploded early against the Flyers and never looked back. Transfer senior Brayden Johnson began the scoring with a little league home run, scoring on a throwing error after a double. 

Johnson proceeded to reach base twice more in the game and managed to come around to score all three times he reached base. 

“Seeing the season that they had last year and the struggles that they came into,” Johnson said. “It’s great to know that we’re off to a great start because we have a great coaching staff, they prepare us.”

Senior Devyn Terbrak got the start for WKU on the mound and put together a solid performance. Terbrak went five innings, allowing one run on four hits. Following Terbrak, four different pitchers pitched an inning out of the bullpen. The relievers allowed a total of only two hits and no runs. 

Dayton’s starter, junior Ryan Packard, did not fare as well as Terbrak. He allowed five runs over 2.2 innings.

Terbrak faced the minimum in the first, despite a HBP as the team turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the top of the inning. The Hilltoppers then went down in order to end the first inning. 

The Flyers went down in order in the top of the second. Packard retired the first two he faced in the bottom of the second, before Johnson doubled. 

Due to a throwing error on the play Johnson came all the way around to score and gave the Hilltoppers a 1-0 lead. Packard hit back-to-back batters, but was able to limit the damage to one run. 

Dayton once again went down in order in the top of the third. 

The Hilltoppers proceeded to blow open the game in the bottom of the third. WKU batted around the entire order in the third and put up five runs, to take a 6-0 lead. 

Freshman Luke Farris began the scoring in the inning with a sac fly. Graduate Kirk Liebert also added another run with an RBI single. 

Later in the inning, Graduate Drew Reckart walked to push in another run. Senior Matthew Meyer then knocked in two more runs with a single. 

Terbrak ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the fourth, but was able to limit the damage to one run. The first three batters of the inning reached base, but the Flyers were only able to score one on a sac fly, making it 6-1.

WKU’s offense failed to add to the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Packard recorded a 1-2-3 inning. 

Dayton managed to put one man on base in the top of the fifth with a single, but failed to score. The Hilltoppers proceeded to go down in order in the bottom of the fifth. 

Freshman Dawson Hall relieved Terbrak in the top of the sixth and retired the Flyers in order, striking out two. 

Meyer managed to pick up his second hit of the day in the sixth with a single, but the Hilltoppers were unable to get anything else going in the inning. 

The Flyers once again failed to put anyone on base in the top of the seventh inning. WKU recorded another single, but did not add to the score in the bottom of the seventh. 

Dayton managed to put men on second and third with one out in the top of the eighth, but did not capitalize on the opportunity to score.

The Hilltoppers made it a 7-1 game in the bottom of the eighth on a throwing error, then closed the game with a win in the top of the ninth. 

The Hilltoppers will return to the field Tuesday, Feb. 21, where they will face Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee at 4 p.m. CST. 


Sports reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected] .