Hilltoppers drop final two games of season, fall out of conference tournament

Junior outfielder Jacob Rhinesmith (2) runs to first base after hitting during the first of three games against West Virginia University on March 2 at Nick Denes Field.

Matt Stahl

WKU baseball suffered a season-ending series loss at the hands of Florida Atlantic, who eliminated the Hilltoppers from contention to make the Conference USA Tournament.

The Hilltoppers dropped the first two games of the weekend before the third game of the series was canceled due to weather.

The losses dropped WKU to 10th in the C-USA standings, with the top eight making the conference tournament. WKU was once as high as fourth in the standings before losing 10 out of the last 11 games to fall out of the tournament picture.

In the first game of the series, held at FAU, the Hilltoppers got off to an early lead in the top of the first before giving up nine runs in the second and another in the third to fall behind early 10-1. After a scoreless fourth, the Owls scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth before WKU added one in the ninth for a final score of 15-2.

The Owls ended the game with six home runs.

In Saturday’s game, the Hilltoppers were able to keep the score much closer, getting their first run in the second, after FAU scored in the first, on a home run by senior left fielder Colie Currie. It was the last game of his WKU career.

The Hilltoppers were led offensively by freshman right fielder Luke Brown, who went 4 for 5, scoring two runs and raising his season batting average to .369. Despite Brown’s best efforts the Hilltoppers lost the game in the 11th inning off of a sacrifice fly by FAU’s Kevin Abraham which scored Cody Wilson. It was Wilson’s fourth run of the game.

Sunday’s game was called off due to inclement weather.

The losses drop WKU to 10th in the standings, two positions out the C-USA tournament, although the Hilltoppers did improve on their record from the 2017 season.

Reporter Matt Stahl can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @mattstahl97.