WKU Snaps Baseball's Nine-Game Winning Streak
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Western Kentucky used a six-run second and a four-run fourth inning to post a 14-6 win and snap Kentucky’s nine-game winning streak, on a perfect Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (12-4) saw its nine-game winning streak snapped with the loss, which concluded UK’s season-opening, 10-game homestand. After a scoreless first inning for both teams, WKU opened up the game with a six-run second and a four-run fourth inning.
The teams combined to walk 11 through the first four innings and finished with 17 combined walks, the most between two teams in the modern era of the UK program (2002-present), equaling a 17-walk game vs. Arkansas and Kentucky in 2007.
The Wildcats collected nine hits in the game with Marcus Carson belting his second home run of the year. UK also got doubles from JaVon Shelby and Dorian Hairston, with Storm Wilson, Zach Reks, Gunnar McNeill, Riley Mahan, Evan White and Tristan Pompey each adding singles.
UK sophomore starter Zach Pop (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and six runs in 1.2 innings, walking two on 49 pitches. Sophomore southpaw Zach Logue came on in relief with two runners on base and two outs in the second inning, allowing a single and bases-loaded walk to score the final runs allowed by Pop. Logue worked 1.2 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, walking two and striking out two. Freshman Josh Smith came on in a jam in the fourth in relief of Logue, getting an out but allowing three walks and a single. Senior Dylan Dwyer worked a strong 3.1 shutout innings in relief, walking three and striking out two. UK also used Bo Wilson and Daniel Tillo in relief.
Western Kentucky (11-5) starter Cody Coll worked 3.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs, walking four and striking out two. Lefty Logan Weins (2-1) earned the win with 2.2 innings in relief.
UK will return to action on Friday with its Southeastern Conference opener at Georgia, with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. ET at Foley Field.
Western Kentucky took an insurmountable lead in the second inning, as Kaleb Duckworth led off with a single to leftfield, taking second on a single from Harrison Scanlon and moving to third on a successful sacrifice bunt. Ty Downing then beat out an infield hit to score Duckworth and give WKU a 1-0 lead. Steven DiPuglia then grounded up the middle softly, allowing Scanlon to score for a two-run advantage. After a walk loaded the bases, Steven Kraft fought off a two-strike pitch and singled up the middle, scoring Downing. Thomas Peter then scored Zach Janes with a two-strike single up the middle. Scanlon then drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Peter.
Kentucky got a run back in the second inning, as Carson launched his second homer of the year, a one-out blast over the right-centerfield fence.
WKU rallied again in the fourth inning, as Peter and Hudzina singled to open the inning and Duckworth doubled over the head of UK’s centerfielder, scoring Peter. After a pitching change and a walk loaded the bases, Downing hung a sacrifice fly to score Hudzina.
In the bottom of the fourth inning McNeill led off with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a groundout. After Carson drew a walk, Pompey singled through the right side, scoring McNeill. Kole Cottam then beat out the back end of a double play, allowing Carson to score.
UK got a run back in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a pair of errors to score Pompey.
In the seventh inning, UK got a leadoff single from Mahan and a sac fly from Luke Becker.
WKU scored four in the eighth, taking advantage of four hits and a two-out UK error.
UK plated a run in the eighth, as Wilson led off with a single and Mahan chopped into a bases-loaded, no out double play to force in Wilson.