WKU starts hot, drops matchup against Vanderbilt 10-6

John Reecer

The Hilltoppers (2-5) started of strong against No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt University, leading the Commodores 6-1 after four innings in Nashville. But WKU would give up nine unanswered runs in the later innings and lose their fourth straight contest.

After the fourth inning, the Hilltoppers were held hitless for the final five. They lost the lead in seventh inning when Zander Wiel hit a grand slam to put the Commodores up 8-6.

“We did enough offensively to win the ballgame, we were just awful in the bullpen,” WKU coach Matt Myers said. “We’re giving up too many freebies. (Ryan Thurston) did everything to get us to the fifth and sixth inning and we choked from there.”

Thurston, a senior gave up three hits and four runs while throwing five strikeouts in five innings. Thurston also successfully struck out the side in the fourth inning.

The WKU bullpen combined to give up six runs, seven hits and six walks.

Senior outfielder Anderson Miller played one of his best games of the season as he went 2-3 at the plate, scored 3 runs and also a solo home run in the fourth. 

Fellow senior designated hitter Phillip Diedrick managed to keep his hit streak alive at eight games with a two-hit, two-RBI performance on Wednesday.

While the Hilltoppers turned in an admirable performance against the top ranked team in the nation, they came up completely empty in the final three innings as no WKU player made it past first base in that span.

“There’s no moral victories here,” Myers said. “We got a chance to be very good, and right now we’re in a funk. The elephant in the room is on the mound. The biggest thing I tell our guys is we got a really good defense. We’re just not using it. If we (change) that we’ll control every opponent we play.”