Weekend series against conference rival UAB up next

Carson Myers, 11, left, son of the head coach, shushes Cruz Dougherty, 4, right, son of the assistant coach, after baseball game at the Hot Rod Stadium in Bowling Green on Mar 24, 2015 between WKU and UK. WKU won with a final score of 12-3. Emily Kask/HERALD

John Reecer

Starting 6 p.m. this Friday,  the Hilltoppers (13-10) will begin their third conference series against the Blazers of UAB (14-9) at Nick Denes Field. 

The Blazers are coached by Brian Shoop and are currently riding a three-game win streak which includes a two-game sweep of Ole Miss. 

UAB is also coming off one of its best seasons in program history, winning 35 games—their most since 1993—and finishing second place in Conference USA.

“Coach Shoop is a legendary coach and an unbelievable man,” Head Coach Matt Myers said. “They are an unbelievable team and that’s why they were second place last year in Conference USA.”

The Blazer’s 14 wins on the season include two victories over Ohio State by a combined score of 11-3. The Buckeyes previously defeated the Hilltoppers twice this season by a combined score of 16-5.   

“They will really defend well, and they are very fundamentally sound as a team,” Myers said. “They will do the little things by moving the baseball and just relying on their pitching and defense.”

The Blazers have a team ERA of 2.97, while the Hilltopper pitching staff currently has a team ERA of 4.86. 

The Blazers also have a team fielding percentage of .974 compared to WKU’s average of .965. 

The Hilltoppers, however, might have the advantage at the plate with a team batting average of .283 while having four players with an average over .300. In comparison, the Blazers boast a team average of .259 while having only one player currently batting over .300. 

WKU also has an advantage over UAB in power hitting, with a team slugging percentage of .423 compared to the Blazer’s .363.  

The Hilltoppers are also on a hot streak of their own, as they have won seven of their last nine games, including a 12-3 blowout of the University of Kentucky in their last contest.   

“I’m really proud of how we are approaching the game right now,” Myers said. “We will definitely have our hands full this weekend, but if we play like we have been playing right now, a lot of teams will have their hands full with us.”