Western Kentucky Claims Tuesday Tilt in Bowling Green
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Western Kentucky got a three-run homer from Cody Wofford in the second inning to erase an early three-run Kentucky lead and lift the Hilltoppers to a 12-3 win over the Wildcats, on a perfect Tuesday night in front of 3,652 at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Kentucky (15-9) opened the game with its first four hitters reaching via a base hit, plating three runs to take an early lead. WKU then answered with a four-run second inning, highlighted by the two-out, three-run homer from Wofford, before scoring in each of the next four innings, including a five-run sixth. The WKU pitching staff retired 11 consecutive hitters from the third inning to the seventh, handcuffing UK's offensive attack.
UK freshman left-handed starter Zach Logue (1-1) suffered his first career loss in his second start, allowing seven hits and five runs in 2.1 innings, walking one and striking out one. Senior Andrew Nelson took over with one out in the bottom of the third inning, working 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and two runs - one earned - not issuing a walk and striking out one. Matt Snyder took over to start the sixth inning, allowing two doubles before giving way to Blake Oyler for his NCAA debut. Oyler worked the sixth, allowing three runs, before giving way to Dylan Dwyer. Dwyer tossed two shutout innings, allowing one hit.
The Wildcats collected six hits in the game, with Evan White, Ka'ai Tom and JaVon Shelby each charting two-hit games. UK also got a hit from Kyle Barrett, a walk from Greg Fettes, and an RBI from Dorian Hairston.
Western Kentucky (13-10) starter Logan Weins worked 2.2 innings, allowing six hits and three runs. He was replaced with two outs in the third by Sam Higgs (1-0), who escaped the jam and retired all seven hitters he faced. WKU also used John Harman, Brennan Pearson and Tate Glasscock in relief.
UK will return to action on Wednesday, playing host to Morehead State in a rescheduled game at 4 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on Fox Sports Radio 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the first inning, as Barrett, White and Tom each singled to leftfield to open up the game. Shelby then grounded back to the mound on a ball that went for an infield single, scoring Barrett. Hairston grounded out up the middle to score White and give UK a 2-0 lead. Wilson then grounded out swiftly to first base, with the WKU defense turning a 3-6 double play to get out of the inning, with Tom hustling in to touch the plate before the final out of the inning was recorded.
The Hilltoppers rallied in the bottom of the second inning, as Kaleb Duckworth singled down the rightfield line with one out, stealing second base with two outs. Leiff Clarkson then singled up the middle, with Duckworth sliding in under the tag of Fettes at the plate for the first run of the game for WKU. After UK walked the dangerous Anderson Miller with two outs, Wofford belted a three-run homer over the centerfield fence for a 4-3 WKU lead.
The Tops chased Logue in the bottom of the third inning, as Phillip Diedrick singled to rightfield to leadoff, taking second on a balk. Danny Hudzina then singled up the middle to score Diedrick.
WKU got a run in the fourth on a Miller single and a Ryan Church RBI single down the line.
WKU scored again in the fifth inning, as Hudzina singled to leadoff, taking third after Hunter Wood reached on a throwing error. Duckworth then lined a sacrifice fly to leftfield, scoring Hudzina.
WKU scored again in the sixth inning, as doubles from Miller and Wofford ended Snyder's outing and gave WKU an 8-3 lead. Hudzina then singled home Wofford for a second run in the frame and Duckworth belted a three-run homer for a nine-run lead.
GAME NOTES: Sophomore second baseman JaVon Shelby made his team-leading 76th consecutive start ... Freshman lefty Zach Logue made his second career start and his team-leading 10th appearance ... Junior centerfielder Kyle Barrett is playing in his team-high 116th career game and made his club-best 100th career start ... Junior outfielder Dorian Hairston made his fifth start of the year and the 10th of his career ... Barrett extended his hitting streak to seven games with a first-inning single ... Freshman first baseman Evan White extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Junior leftfielder Ka'ai Tom has reached base safely in 22 of his 24 games in 2015 ... Shelby has reached base safely in a team-high 15 consecutive games ... Senior third baseman Thomas Bernal was hit by his 33rd career pitch, tying him for fourth in UK career history with Braden Kapteyn ... White notched his sixth multiple-hit game of the year ... Shelby recorded his ninth multi-hit game of 2015 ... Shelby charted his ninth two-strike hit of the year ... Hairston was hit by his third pitch of 2015 an the fifth of his career ... Senior righty Andrew Nelson made his team-leading 10th appearance of the year and the 29th appearance of his two-year career ... Tom recorded his second outfield assist and the seventh of his two-year career ... Junior lefty Matt Snyder made his fourth appearance of 2015 and the 13th of his career ... Righty Blake Oyler made his collegiate debut ... Junior lefty Dylan Dwyer made his seventh appearance of the year and the 35th of his career ... Tom now has 13 multi-hit games on the year ... Sophomore rightfielder Storm Wilson was hit by his seventh pitch of 2015 and the 23rd of his career ... UK has scored 22 first-inning runs in 2015, have a 7-3 record when scoring in the first inning and a 12-3 mark when scoring first in a game ... UK is now 2-7 in road games in 2015 ... UK is 2-2 in its blue and grey uniform combination ... UK is 13-5 in non-league play ... UK leads the all-time series with Western Kentucky, 32-27, with a 12-12 mark in games played in Bowling Green ... Since the series meeting in Bowling Green shifted to the Bowling Green Ballpark, WKU has won four consecutive games in the series ... UK is now 3-2 in midweek games.