Toppers baseball travels to N.C. for season opener

By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
The Hilltopper baseball team will play their first games of the season this weekend against St. Augustine’s, Slippery Rock and Seton Hill University. The team was supposed to have their first games two weeks ago against St. Augustine’s, but due to weather, the series was postponed to today and their regularly scheduled games against two PSAC schools will be played as scheduled. 

The team will take on the Falcons of St. Augustine’s today, Feb. 22, in Cary, N.C. with games starting at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Falcons have already played five games this season and they currently have a 4-1 record. Their only loss came against a Mountain East Conference opponent in the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.  They’ve scored 22 runs and allowed 18 through the first five games of the season. Justin Retzer and Nolan Marcus will toe the rubber for the Hilltoppers and they will try to start the season on a high note. 
On Saturday, the Toppers will go to Holly Springs, N.C. to take on Slippery Rock University in a double header with the start times to be determined. Slippery Rock is in a similar boat as West Liberty, as neither of them has played a game yet. Last season, Slippery Rock finished the season with a 27-20 record, which is similar to the 29-20 record that West Liberty had last year. Both games on Saturday will be seven-inning games and the projected starters on the mound will be Parker Dyson and Vincent Haddox.
On Sunday, West Liberty will take on Seton Hill University in one, nine-inning game to conclude their first weekend of the 2018 season. The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., and it will be the first time these teams will match-up, and they will play again on April 23 at West Liberty. Seton Hill will play their first games of the season on Saturday against Shippensburg University. Last season, the Griffins went 36-20 and won the PSAC tournament against Mercyhurst University. They then went on to the Atlantic Regional tournament, where they lost their first two games against Shepherd and Winston-Salem State University. 
The Toppers will look to start their season above .500 when they return home from this five game road series. Their next games will be in early March. Follow the baseball team all season long on Twitter, and grab next week’s issue of the Trumpet for more game previews and player profiles. 
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