By Cody Shook, Contributing Writer
The baseball team travels to the bottom of West Virginia to take on Concord university in a two game set. On March 19th the Hilltoppers will play at 1 and 3 p.m. against the Mountain Lions.
These two teams are familiar with each other because they are coming off of a two game set that took place in Athens on March 12th. The Hilltoppers unfortunately came out on the wrong end of both games losing 4-5 and 1-10. Last season when these two teams played the Hilltoppers came out victorious in three out of four games.
The Hilltoppers are now sitting on top of the Mountain East conference with an 8-3 record. Before they dropped two games against Concord this past weekend, the Hilltoppers were surging on a six game winning streak after taking two from Charleston, Glenville and taking one from Ohio Valley University and St. Augustine’s University.
This upcoming weekend will kick off conference play whereas the previous weekend didn’t count towards their conference standings. Every team in the Mountain East conference must play a certain amount of non-conference games but instead of the Hilltoppers playing random schools they decided to play teams in their own conference but not have the games count towards their conference record.
Head Coach, Eric Burkle, knows the importance of this upcoming weekend because it starts conference play and they are playing a team that they just lost two games to. He said, “These losses are fresh in our minds and we’re not going to forget about dropping two games against Concord, so it’s good that we’re going right back down there where we will try to get two conference wins.”
Senior pitcher and captain Mark Smyth, said, “Year in and year out, Concord is a top of the line team in the Mountain East, but I believe Coach Burkle will have us prepared for Saturday with the goal to take two.”
“We all know how important these games are, especially after just losing two games to them and taking two this weekend would be huge for our season,” said Smyth.
The Concord Mountain Lions come into the series with a team batting average over .300 and the Hilltoppers come into the series with team era of just above 3. This series will be bats vs pitching and the Hilltoppers will be throwing their number one and number two pitchers Mark Smyth and Greg Stagani to neutralize the Mountain Lions hitting.
Be sure to follow the team on Twitter for live updates on games.