Tops swept at home by West Virginia

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With three unearned runs Sunday, West Virginia defeated Western Kentucky 7-1 at Nick Denes Field to complete a sweep in the final game of the series.

Colie Currie and Colin Butkiewicz each had a pair of hits for the Hilltoppers who fell to 5-7.

In the top of the first, the Mountaineers got one of their unearned runs when Ivan Gonzalez reached base via catcher’s interference and Darius Hill followed with an RBI double off WKU starter Paul Kirkpatrick.

The visitors struck for three runs in the fourth frame, when Kyle Brophy scored on a passed ball and a two-out throwing error off a Brandon White ground ball brought in two more.

Currie got things started for the Hilltoppers in the bottom of the fourth, doubling down the left-field line and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Steven Kraft to bring the score within three, at 4-1.

Brophy pushed the Mountaineers’ lead back to four with a sac fly in the following frame, but that would be all the visitors could muster off Kirkpatrick the rest of the day.

The righty from Austin, Texas, threw 71 of 99 pitches for strikes, striking out five in 6 1/3 innings while not issuing a walk. He did hit two batters, however, but allowed only six hits.

When Kirkpatrick departed with one out and one on in the seventh, Troy Newell was the first pitcher out of the pen. The lefty got Hill to ground into a 6-3 double play started by Kevin Lambert, then pitched a perfect eighth inning to follow.

West Virginia added a pair of runs in the ninth off righty reliever Maddex Richardson, making his first appearance of the series, which pushed the score to its final of 7-1.

Western travels to Nashville at 3 p.m. Tuesday to play Belmont.