By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
This weekend, the Toppers will celebrate senior day on the hilltop on Saturday afternoon at Kovalick Field in a double-header against the Wheeling Jesuit University Cardinals. The games on Saturday are set for 1 and 3 p.m. at Kovalick Field. The Toppers will travel off the hill to Wheeling Jesuit’s field on Sunday for another double-header with game times set for 1 and 3 p.m.
Eleven seniors will step onto the field for the last time in front of their home fans, and there will be a lot at stake in the last weekend of the regular season.
Last weekend, the West Liberty baseball team took on Fairmont State University in a four-game series, and the Toppers came away with the split after winning games two and four. The Hilltoppers outscored the Falcons 29-23 but were unable to win the series.
In game four, on Sunday afternoon, sophomore pitcher Parker Dyson pitched a complete game no-hitter against the second-best hitting team in the Mountain East Conference. He struck out seven batters and only walked three people. Dyson is the pitcher that was called upon after senior pitcher Greg Stagani went down with an arm injury a few weeks ago.
The Hilltoppers are currently tied for second place with Fairmont State in the north division of the Mountain East Conference standings. Fairmont State will be taking on the first place Shepherd Rams this weekend, so whoever can win more games will be in sole possession of second place heading into the conference tournament.
The Toppers enter the weekend with a 25-18 overall record and an 18-10 record in conference games. Leading the way at the plate for the Hilltoppers is senior designated hitter Mike Adams, batting an incredible .383 through 42 games. The team batting average is .304, and their on base percentage is .385. The pitchers are continuing to be near the top of the league in pitching with a 5.02 earned run average.
Wheeling Jesuit has taken a step back this season as they finished in fourth place in the MEC last season, just barely missing the conference tournament by one game.
This season, they are struggling as they are entering the weekend with a 6-32 overall record and a 5-21 record in conference games. The Cardinals have a team batting average of .219 and their pitchers have an earned run average of 5.89.
The Hilltoppers have already clinched a spot in the postseason, but now they are fighting to have a higher seed in the conference tournament.
Photo credit: Hilltoppersports.com