WKU defeats Louisville, sweeps in-state competition

WKU’s Leiff Clarkson slides home safely past Southern Miss catcher Chuckie Robinson during the game Friday, April 10, 2015, at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. Nick Wagner/HERALD

John Reecer

The Hilltoppers (21-17) defeated the fourth ranked team in the country (USA Today Coaches’ Poll) Wednesday night in their matchup against the Louisville Cardinals (31-10) at Jim Patterson Stadium.

WKU managed to score seven runs in the first four innings of the contest and the Hilltoppers never looked backed. They would defeat the Cardinals and improve their record against in-state opponents to 4-0 on the season. 

“This is the first time that I’ve been in here in eight years that we have been state champs,” Head Coach Matt Myers said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. At the end of the day every win is big too us. Every game is tough to win especially on the road against really good teams.”  

Junior pitcher Josh Bartley gave WKU one of his best starts of the season as he only gave up one Louisville run on four hits through four complete innings. Bartley would go on to earn his fifth win of the season due to his performance on the mound.

“Coach Allen, Coach Myers and I have been working on some things because I have not been playing to my abilities,” Bartley said. “I’m just glad that everything came together tonight.”

The Hilltopper bullpen also played well behind Bartley tonight as four different pitchers combined to give up only two Cardinal runs on three hits.

The Cardinals did not do themselves any favors on the evening as Louisville uncharacteristically gave up two errors and four wild pitches in the midst of the WKU effort.

Junior third basemen Danny Hudzina lead the way for WKU at the plate tonight as he earned two hits, two runs and one RBI in his five at bats.

“Against FIU we had contributions from a lot of people and that’s what it’s taking right now,” Coach Myers said. “The pitching staff, the offense and the defense all made some great plays. I’m just really proud of the guys and how they approached this whole game. I’m really proud to be a Hilltopper right now.”

Up next for the Hilltoppers is a crucial home Conference-USA weekend series against the sixteenth ranked Rice Owls. The first game of the series is set to start 6 p.m. Friday night at Nick Denes Field.