by Cody Shook, Sports Editors
The West Liberty University baseball team will start its season this week, as they travel south to take on Erskine College in Due West, S.C. Opening day will be this Friday at 2:30 p.m., with a single nine inning game. The Hilltoppers will stay in Due West to play the Flying Fleet two more times on Saturday. The first game is scheduled to start at noon and the second game of the double header is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.
This will be the first time in head coach Eric Burkles tenure that he will be taking on the Flying Fleet, and with a bunch of new faces on the field for the Hilltoppers, unexpected things are bound to happen. As the 2019 season is upon us, the Hilltoppers will be looking to make their seventh consecutive conference tournament appearance at the end of the spring season. Last season the baseball team started the season 2-5 before finishing the year with a 21-28 overall record and a 17-15 record in Mountain East Conference games.
Conference games begin Mar. 16 against UVa-Wise and Concord University.
There will be a few returning players that will be key to the success of the Hilltoppers this season. Starting in left field will be Coby Eckstein, and he is an All-Region and All-MEC standout. Last year he started 47 games and he posted a .394 batting average, which was a team high. He will be vital to the success of the Hilltoppers this season. Another returning starter will be Tyler Ramsay a senior from Bellaire, Ohio. Last year as the starting first basemen, Ramsey had a .266 batting average while hitting six homeruns and 26 runs batted in. One of the biggest returners will be left handed pitcher, Parker Dyson. In the 2018 season, Dyson threw 66 innings and struck out 83 batters, while posting a 3.00 earned run average. In 2017, Dyson was named NCAA Division II National Pitcher of the Week after hurling West Liberty’s first no-hitter in more than three decades with a 3-0 win against Fairmont State on April 30, 2017.
The Hilltoppers get there season started this week and then they will have a one week stretch with no games, but then they will be back in action against Malone University.
This weeks games will start on Friday, Feb. 7, at 2:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 8, at noon and 2:30 p.m. Follow the baseball team all season long on Twitter and be sure to pick up next weeks issue of the Trumpet for more game previews and player profiles.
To watch the game, click here!
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com