Justin Carlin had a big day to help the Western Kentucky baseball team to a doubleheader sweep at Marshall on Saturday.
The Hilltoppers improved to 7-0 against the Herd this season with a 6-1 victory in the first game and a 15-5 victory in the second game Saturday at the Kennedy Center in Huntington, W.Va.
Carlin, a junior left fielder, went 2-for-3 in the first game with a double and three RBIs, and went 4-for-5 with three homers – a solo shot, a two-run homer and a grand slam – in the second game.
Marshall (8-27 overall, 4-19 Conference USA) scored its only run in the first game in the bottom of the first on a double from Cyrus Grimes. WKU (22-21, 12-11) took the lead on Carlin’s two-RBI double in the third and didn’t look back.
The Tops added four runs in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Carlin and a three-RBI opposite-field homer from Richard Constantine.
Sean Bergeron picked up the complete-game victory, allowing one run on four hits and no walks while striking out eight. Raymond Pacella took the loss for Marshall. He allowed two runs on six hits and one walk in six innings. He struck out four. Cody Sharp pitched the seventh, allowing four runs on two hits and two walks.
Carlin stayed hot in game two, and knocked his first ball out of the park in the first inning to put WKU up 1-0. Marshall responded with an RBI single through the right side from Travis Sankovich in the second to tie the game.
The Hilltoppers took the lead in the third when Matt Phipps scored on a balk and added another run on a single from Carlin, but Marshall again answered, taking a lead on a two-run single from Ryan Leitch. The Herd added an insurance run with a single up the middle from Kyle Schaefer to make it 4-3.
WKU took the lead in the top of the fourth with Constantine’s homer to left field and an RBI ground out from Phipps, but an RBI single from Luke Edwards in the bottom of the inning made it 5-all.
A massive 10-run seventh inning sent the Hilltoppers to victory.
Carlin opened the scoring with a two-run homer to left field, and WKU added runs when Ricardo Leonett walked, Phipps walked, Ty Crittenberger was hit by a pitch and Ray Zuberer III was hit by a pitch. Carlin capped off the victory with a grand slam to make it 15-5.
Devyn Terbrak got the starting nod for WKU, allowing five runs – three earned – in four innings on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two batters. Collin Lollar added two innings on hitless relief and Bailey Sutton had one.
The two are scheduled to close the series with a noon game Sunday.