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Hilltoppers set to host North Dakota State for season opener

WKU
WKU(WKU Hilltopper Baseball)
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:26 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -WKU Baseball is set to open its season with a three-game series against North Dakota State beginning 5 p.m. CT on Sunday, Feb. 21 at Nick Denes Field.

THE SCHEDULE

  • The Hilltoppers will open their season Sunday, Feb. 21 with a 5 p.m. matchup against North Dakota State.
  • WKU will then close out its series against the Bison with a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22.

HILLTOPPER PRESEASON HONORS

  • Davis Sims was named to the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award Watch List on Feb. 10. The award honors the top college hitter in Division I based on performance at the plate, academics and personal integrity, with the winner set to be announced in June.
  • Sims was also voted to the Preseason All-Conference USA Team on Feb. 11, marking the second consecutive year that a Hilltopper has claimed the designated hitter slot on the All-Conference Team after Richard Constantine received the honor in 2020.

SERIES HISTORY

  • Sunday’s matchup will mark the first time that the Hilltoppers and Bison have met.

SCOUTING THE HILLTOPPERS

  • WKU went 10-6 in an abbreviated 2020 season, winning all four of its weekend series on the year.
  • The Hilltoppers are set to return 28 players from last season’s roster, including all nine starters from their 2020 squad.
  • WKU will also welcome 17 newcomers into the fold, which includes nine transfers and eight freshmen.
  • Offensively, the team will return five players who hit .300 or better last season in Matt Phipps (.368), Jack Wilson (.343), Davis Sims (.333), Jackson Swiney (.333) and Ray Zuberer III (.328).
  • On the mound, the squad is also set to bring back its top two starters in Sean Bergeron (2-0, 2.59 ERA) and Michael Darrell-Hicks (2-1, 4.82 ERA), as well as its top closer in Jake Kates (2-0, 1 SV, 1.04 ERA).

SCOUTING THE BISON

  • North Dakota State compiled an 8-9 overall record in 2020, including a 5-8 mark on the road.
  • The Bison are set to return 26 players from last season’s roster, while adding 12 newcomers to the squad.
  • North Dakota State’s top returner offensively is Brock Anderson, who led last year’s team with a .333 batting average and .447 on-base percentage.
  • The Bison’s top returner on the mound is Max Loven, who compiled a team-high 23.0 innings pitched while going 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA.

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