Hilltop baseball team looks to stay hot in conference play 

By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
This weekend, the baseball team will travel a few hours north for a four game series against Notre Dame College (Ohio). This will be the first set of games against a northern division opponent for the Toppers, and they will look to keep their impressive 11-1 start going. This past week, the Hilltoppers got their second weekend sweep of the year. They played against the University of Charleston and West Virginia State University and were able to put up 20 runs and only give up nine. 
West Liberty comes into the weekend on top of the north division in the Mountain East Conference with an overall record of 16-7 and a conference record of 11-1. The Hilltoppers are no strangers to hot starts as they started the 2016 season with a 17-7 record, but they stumbled through the south division last year with a 7-5 record. Last season, when Notre Dame came to town, they were able to get a series split winning two games.
The Falcons of Notre Dame come into the weekend with a 6-20 record overall and a 3-9 record in conference play. The Falcons have a team batting average of .252 and a .330 on base percentage. Their pitching staff comes into the weekend with an earned run average of 7.47. Their defense is near the top of the MEC with a .951 fielding percentage. 
The Hilltoppers are near the top or on top of the MEC in multiple categories, such as hitting, fielding and pitching. The team batting average is .323, which lands them at the number one spot and the team fielding percentage is .963 which is also the best in the conference. The pitching staff as of late is dominating line-ups and has found themselves in second place in the MEC with a 4.47 earned run average. 
This week, West Liberty found themselves back in the top ten of the Atlantic Region after their recent success, and they will look to continue moving up from the ten spot this weekend. 
The Hilltoppers will return home next week for a weekend series against Urbana University
Be sure to grab next week’s Trumpet for more game previews and player profiles. For more information on this year’s Hilltoppers, log onto hilltoppersports.com
Photo credit: hilltoppersports.com