Baseball is set for a three-game series against regional opponent IUP

Wheeling, WV — The Wheeling University baseball team (3-9, 0-0) prepares for its final non-conference series before the start of the Mountain East Conference (MEC) game Thursday when she opens a three-game match with Indiana University in Pennsylvania (IUP). The Cardinals kicked off their offense last week when they scored a total of 36 points in three games in Salem, West Virginia, and they’re looking to maintain that success in their final tune-up before the conference game.

Last weekend, the team faced Alderson Broaddus, Salem University, a Mercyhurst, going 2-1 in those three games. They opened the weekend by scoring 20 points against a divisional opponent in Alderson Broaddus as they capitalized on several Battlers’ mistakes. They advanced through crazy terrain and fired base-laden walks to account for six of their runs in a 20-10 win. They continued on Saturday, this time using their muscles to claim a 16-6 win over the Tigers. Wheeling hit six home runs in the game, including two three-hit bombs, to tally each of their hits. The Cardinals finished the weekend against regionally ranked Mercyhurst and ended up losing 19-3 to improve to 3-9 on the season.

Guy who had a good weekend was designated catcher/hitter Riley Cameron. Cameron’s biggest effort came in the game against Salem when he hit two of Wheeling’s six homers and scored three RBIs while going a perfect 3-3 at the plate. With that effort, Cameron now has the best .344 batting average and is tied for the team lead with three homers. Cameron has been a consistent force amid the Cardinals’ roster and recently sparked the team. Setting up Cameron in that the top of the order was Blake Vandiver, who has an OPS of 0.915 and a healthy on-base percentage of 0.492. He scored a team-high three runs in the effort against Salem and was on base in three of his five at-bats that day.

On the mound, senior Logan Pillars and Hayden Wilcox each had strong outings for the Cardinals’ pitching staff. Pillars took the mound against Salem and pitched six solid innings of work, his longest start to the season so far. He gave up two runs early in the game, but managed to shut out the Tigers until the sixth inning. He picked up his second win of the season in what was a rebounding effort for the senior pitcher. In the first game of the weekend, Wilcox took on Alderson Broaddus and although he didn’t get as far as Pillars did, he made up for it with some quality work on the mound. He lasted three innings against the Battlers, allowing just one run before giving way to the bullpen. Both pitchers helped rebound a staff that had its share of struggles early in the season.

In this last non-conference series before the MEC game, the Cardinals will be looking to clean up a few things before returning to the MEC playoffs. The pitching staff has improved each time they take the mound, and the offense has shown its ability to score a lot. They will look to work in tandem on the stretch as Wheeling looks to rack up the wins. They are looking for their first victory against a PSAC school this season, and the IUP offers another chance to face a ranked opponent. With the NCAA Tournament still the ultimate goal for the end of the season, this is a chance for the team to improve their position in the region and show that they can hold their own against the best opponents.

The game

The Cardinals and Crimson Hawks are meeting for only the second time in team history, and the second time in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The previous meeting between the two teams was an offensive affair with the teams combining to score 35 points. However, it was the Cardinals who emerged victorious, thanks to a top 10 run in the third inning as they held on for the win.

The Cardinals’ offensive leader in that game was Cameron, who went 3-5 with a team’s best three RBIs and a double. A total of five Cardinals finished with multi-hit games in the offensive shootout. Wheeling’s offense looks to be bringing just as much firepower this time as they try to keep their perfect record against IUP.

The details

The first pitch for Thursday’s opener of the three-game series is scheduled for 2 p.m. You can follow the action via Live Stats by clicking HERE.