Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday, March 19, Brett Newberg took the mound with his team up by two.
Newberg would make the final stand for the Govs here, earning him the Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week award on Monday, March 25.
Having scored two runs in the prior inning, Western Kentucky was in a decent position to pull off a comeback win over the Govs.
Newberg, a native of Moline, Illinois, had other plans.
Forcing the Hilltopper’s Jack Wilson and Ray Zuberer III into ground outs and striking out the six hole batter Matt Phillips locked in the win for a visiting Govs side.
The three batter performance earned Newberg his third save of the 2019 season.
Three days later, Newberg did it again.
With only a two-run cushion, the Govs senior pitcher stuck out two Southeast Missouri batters Hunter Southerland and Andrew Keck before forcing Brett Gonzalez to ground out.
Another three-batter ninth inning moved Newberg to four saves on the season and two in last week alone.
Newberg ranks in a tie for second in the league for saves on the season, and No. 50 among all NCAA Division I pitchers.
Among the three appearances made this week, Newberg faced a total of 12 batters. The left-hander struck out five of those batters, 41.6 percent, in four total innings of scoreless baseball.
Newberg pitched two closing innings in the Govs last outing, a no-hit, two strike out performance in a 10-2 win over Southeast Missouri.
Newberg has struck out 23 batters across his 11 appearances in the 2019 season.
The Govs are slatted to host rivals Mu**ay State at Raymond C. Hand Park on Wednesday, March 26 with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Following the midweek appearances, the Govs host a weekend series with the Belmont Bruins (12-11, 7-2 OVC).