WKU baseball and Bowling Green Hot Rods announce exhibition for April

WKU freshman Hunter Wood warms up to bat in the bottom of the 8th inning during WKU’s 5-3 lost against Louisville at the Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Ky on Wednesday March 26, 2014. (Jeff Brown/HERALD)

Elliott Pratt

Western Kentucky baseball and the Bowling Green Hot Rods announced a partnership for an exhibition match between the two organizations on April 7 at 6:00 p.m. CT at Bowling Green Ballpark.

The exhibition match comes two weeks the Hilltoppers are scheduled to play the Kentucky Wildcats at the ballpark, located in downtown Bowling Green.

Hot Rods General Manager Adam Nuse, WKU director of athletics Todd Stewart and WKU baseball coach Matt Myers made the announcement Wednesday morning.

“It will be great for the Bowling Green community, our fans and fans of the Hot Rods and fans for baseball in general,” Stewart said. “It’s a unique concept that I think is a win-win across the board. Another example of our tremendous partnership.”

The Hot Rods, a Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, will play the exhibition immediately following its spring training and before their official season starts April 9.

WKU will be halfway through its season when the exhibition rolls around, but Myers says there will be no change in WKU’s routine.

“We’re not going to change our rotation as far as what we’re going to do that week,” Myers said. “Our No. 4 starter that will get the Tuesday, Wednesday start and will probably go there and have a great opportunity to get a lot of work for guys going in. It’s a unique event. We won’t change our preparation as far as competing.”

Bowling Green Ballpark has been the site for several WKU baseball events since 2012, with the Hilltoppers hosting the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament at the ballpark.

WKU is 6-1 all-time in games at Bowling Green Ballpark.

“It will be an exhibition game that’s very unique to minor league baseball that only a few teams have the opportunity to do,” General Manager Adam Nuse said. “It’s a dream that (Bowling Green Hot Rods owners) Jerry and Stuart Katzoff had when they first got here and met with Dr. (Gary) Ransdell. We’d like to thank the athletic department and the Tampa Bay Rays, both were instrumental in allowing us to do this event. We’re really excited about having another community event that the community and South Central Kentucky can be proud of.”