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WKU baseball splits weekend series against West Virginia

Eli Randolph
Camden Ross (8) swings at the ball during WKU’s first home game series against Bradley University on Sunday, Feb. 18.

WKU Baseball played its first weekend series against a Power 5 team March 1-3, splitting a four-game series with the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The Hilltoppers dropped the first two contests of the series but ended the weekend on a strong note, winning two straight.

“We’re trying to learn to win, we’re trying to learn to compete at a higher level, and just be consistent doing it.” Head Coach Marc Rardin said.

WKU’s offense got out to a slow start in the series, scoring just three runs through the first two games, but picked up in the second two games, scoring 11 runs. 

Game 1

The first game of the series was a forgettable one for WKU as they were blanked 4-0 in the contest.

West Virginia’s Sam White led the charge with two home runs in the contest, knocking in three of the Mountaineers four runs.

WKU, on the other hand, managed only three hits in the contest.

The Hilltoppers relievers were the bright spot of the game for WKU. The bullpen covered four and two thirds innings for WKU and allowed only one run.

Game 2

The Hilltoppers dropped the first game of a Saturday doubleheader 8-3 in game two of the series.

WKU took a 2-1 lead through the third inning thanks to RBI doubles in the first and third innings.

West Virginia responded however, outsourcing WKU 7-1 through the next six innings, with the only WKU run coming on a fourth inning sac fly. 

Junior Ethan Lizama led the Hilltoppers offense in the contest with two hits and an RBI.

Game 3

WKU closed out Saturday’s doubleheader with a 7-6 victory. 

The third game of the series got off to an exciting start as West Virginia scored two in the top of the first and WKU scored four in the bottom of the inning.

The Hilltoppers runs in the first came on an RBI groundout, a bunt single and a two-run homer.

The Mountaineers cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth before WKU added two more in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead.

West Virginia chipped away at the lead throughout the rest of the game but never came back as WKU claimed a 7-6 win.

Lizama was once again one of the keys to WKU’s offensive success, recording two hits, a run and an RBI.

Game 4

WKU claimed a series tie with a 4-3 victory Sunday. 

West Virginia took a quick 1-0 lead on a solo homer in the second inning of the contest. The Hilltoppers responded quickly with four runs in the bottom of the second on a two-RBI single and a two-run homer.

Those four runs proved to be enough to lead the Hilltoppers to a victory as West Virginia failed to come all the way back and WKU claimed a 4-3 victory.

Sophomore Dylan O’Connell had a huge day at the plate for WKU, with three hits, including a two-run homer.

Sophomore Dawson Hall put together another strong start on the mound for the Hilltoppers, claiming his second win of the season. Hall went five innings and allowed two runs, only one of which was earned.

The Hilltoppers will return to the field March 5 to take on Bellarmine University in Louisville at 3 p.m. CT.

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