Keynote Speaker for WLU Baseball Leadoff Dinner Announced

WLU Baseball Head Coach Eric Burkle has announced that lead ESPN College Baseball Analyst Mike Rooney will provide the keynote address for the Hilltoppers’ 2024 Leadoff Dinner on February 10, 2024.
Rooney has been a familiar face on the college baseball scene for years. He starred for current Milwaukee Brewers manager Pat Murphy from 1988-92 at Notre Dame, where he was teammates with current Chicago Cubs field boss Craig Counsell, and also coached at Arizona State from 1999 to 2004. He helped coach and develop a total of 19 players who made it to Major League Baseball, including such All-Stars as Dustin Pedroia and Andre Ethier. Rooney has worked as ESPN’s lead college baseball analyst since 2009 and is often referred to as the “voice of college baseball.”
“The return of our Leadoff Dinner is huge for our program,” said Burkle, who heads into his 12th season at the Hilltopper helm having averaged more than 20 wins a season throughout his tenure. “Not only are we showcasing an outstanding and nationally known speaker in Mike Rooney, but we’re also putting the Belmont Savings Bank Practice Facility in the spotlight for our alumni, friends, and most of all recruits. We have outstanding facilities at West Liberty and this is a great opportunity to show them off.”
The Leadoff dinner will be held inside the Hilltoppers’ 144,000-square foot Belmont Savings Bank Practice Facility on the WLU campus beginning at 6:30 pm on February 10. In addition to Rooney’s address, the event will feature a catered meal by Aladdin Food Services, a video presentation introducing the 2024 Hilltopper baseball team, and a post-dinner “Night at the Races.”
Tickets for the event are priced at $75 per person, which includes the catered meal along with three drink tickets. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase.
Proceeds from the event will be directed to the WLU Baseball Fund in the West Liberty University Foundation which supports the baseball program through upgrades for equipment, the purchase of uniforms and other team needs, and continuing improvements to Kovalick Field.
To purchase event tickets or sponsor the event, visit:
For additional information or to purchase horses for the “Night at the Races” event, contact Coach Burkle by email at [email protected] or by phone, 304.639.5989.