WKU bests EKU, will travel to Marshall

Tyler Mansfield

After being swept at Louisiana Tech last weekend, the WKU baseball team snapped a three-game losing streak Tuesday evening with a 14-3, offensive-powered win over Eastern Kentucky University at Nick Denes Field.

In their final midweek game of the season, the Hilltoppers (14-32 overall, 4-17 Conference USA) used 13 hits and showed all-around consistency to take the second game of the year against the Colonels, who beat WKU 16-15 in a 10-inning contest back on March 8 in Richmond.

Hunter Wood went 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI to lead the Toppers while Kaleb Duckworth finished with a two-hit, four RBI performance. Bailey Sutton relieved starter Evan Acosta on the mound and allowed two hits and a run with a pair of strikeouts in 3.1 innings to record the win.

WKU struck first on Tyler Robertson’s RBI single in the second inning. Duckworth reached on a walk and soon advanced to third before Robertson’s hit scored him to make it 1-0 early.

EKU responded with a pair of runs on three hits in the ensuing frame to take a 2-1 lead over the Hilltoppers. Matt Olive and Brenden Overton both led off with singles while Cornell Nixon singled and then advanced to second on a WKU error. That same error plated Olive and Overton.

The Hilltoppers regained their advantage courtesy of a two-run, two-hit fourth. Wood singled to first base before Duckworth being hit by a pitch to begin the frame. Robertson soon flew out to left to score Wood while Wyatt Featherston doubled down the right field line to plate Kevin Lambert, who reached on a walk, making it 3-2.

Wood’s RBI single and Duckworth’s two-run home run in the fifth highlighted a three-run set for WKU. Colie Currie doubled and Wood plated him with his hit into left before Duckworth’s shot over the left field wall on his birthday increased the Hilltoppers’ lead to 6-2.

Western went on to score three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to take a 12-3 advantage. Robertson had scored on a balk before Currie tallied an RBI double and Thomas Peter singled to center to plate Currie.

WKU added to its lead in the eighth on a solo shot over the left field wall from Grayson Ivey – the first of his career. An RBI groundout by Currie later in the inning put the Hilltoppers up 14-3 and Eastern away for good.

The Hilltoppers now get set to return to C-USA play, as they travel to Huntington, West Virginia for a three-game series at Marshall, beginning Friday at 1 p.m.

Marshall (21-23, 9-12 C-USA) currently sits at eighth in the league standings and welcomes WKU into Huntington after suffering a series defeat at Old Dominion last weekend. ODU outscored the Herd 30-6 throughout the first two games of the slate before MU avoided the sweep with a 2-1 victory in the finale.

The Thundering Herd are led by Sam Finfer, who is batting .325 while starting – and playing – in each game this season. Finfer has recorded 54 hits on the year with 43 RBI and 14 home runs.

Following Friday’s meeting, the two sides will square off Saturday at noon before concluding the series at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Reporter Tyler Mansfield can be reached at (270) 935-0007 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @CallMeMansfield.