Ohio State completes Hilltopper series sweep

Baseball Head Coach, Matt Myers speaks about the upcoming season to reporters during the Baseball Media Day, Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Diddle Arena. The Toppers ranked 9th in the preseason Conference USA coaches poll, but Myers said he won’t let the low ranking phase him. Mike Clark/ HERALD

John Reecer

WKU lost the second and final contest of its two-game series with Ohio State University Monday, losing 6-4 at Nick Denes Field after dropping the first game of the series 10-1. 

The game-changing play came in the eighth inning when Ohio State right fielder Patrick Porter belted a two-run home run over the right field wall to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 advantage in a game that was neck-and-neck.  

“We are just really on our heels right now,” Head Coach Matt Myers said. “We are in a bad funk right now and it’s not just these two games. Even in our four-game win streak we still haven’t played clean and we have to get over the hump.”

Junior Austin King started on the mound Monday and gave a much-needed quality start for the Hilltoppers. King pitched 6.1 innings while only giving up two runs on five hits. He also managed to retire 12 straight Buckeyes in three straight innings.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better start from him,” Coach Myers said. “He needed that start for himself and we really needed his performance as well. He was just tremendous today.”

For the second straight day, the Hilltoppers hit the ball well. WKU tabbed ten hits to score four runs on the day. Junior Danny Hudzina and sophomore Ty Hogan enjoyed the best days at the plate. Hudzina went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI while Hogan went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI.

WKU lead the game 3-2 through seven innings as senior Tate Glasscock started to pitch his way out of a jam in the eighth inning. However, Porter’s home-run gave Ohio State a lead that the Toppers could not overcome, with the Buckeyes also adding two more runs in the ninth inning.

Glasscock earned the loss for the Hilltoppers while King got the no-decision. Ohio State pitcher and pro-prospect Travis Lakins received the win as he allowed only two runs on six hits while also striking out 10 WKU batters.

“We fought hard but we are not happy that we did get a winning result,” Austin King said. “It’s just a really tough game for us to lose.”

The Hilltoppers will be back in action tomorrow Tuesday in Starkville, Mississippi as they take on nationally ranked Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m.