Hilltoppers win fourth straight behind strong performance from Thurston

John Reecer

Sophomore pitcher Ryan Thurston threw the longest start of any WKU pitcher this season as the Hilltoppers defeated Belmont University 5-2 Tuesday night at Nick Denes Field.

Thurston only gave up two runs on three hits in six and one-third innings as he earned his first victory of the season.

“Ryan has now pitched two back-to-back starts that are as good as we can ask for,” Head Coach Matt Myers said. “I told our guys we are 6-1 when our starting pitcher gets to the fifth inning so I am very excited with what Ryan did today.”

The game stayed relatively close at a 2-1 Hilltopper advantage through five innings as both teams played sound defense.

In the sixth inning junior outfielder Anderson Miller hit a two-run double which would eventually be the difference in the game.

Senior shortstop Cody Wofford knocked in his first RBI of the season shortly after Miller’s hit to score the final run for WKU.

Sophomore Ben Morrison earned his second save of the season as he set a career high with three strikeouts while giving up no runs or hits in his time at the mound.

“Our bullpen did what they were supposed to do,” Thurston said. “We have confidence in our bullpen because they just have a great work ethic in everything they do.”

A 32-minute rain delay in the eighth inning made conditions tough on both teams, but behind Morrison’s pitching the Hilltoppers closed out the game.

“This was a good game for us and we really needed it,” Myers said. “We played horrible against them last week and now we have a four-game winning streak with great momentum going into the Ohio State series this weekend.”