WKU concludes Fall World Series in preparation for 2015

Senior infielder Scott Wilcox signs baseballs for fans after WKU’s win against Arkansas State at Nick Denes Field on April 5. (Ian Maule/HERALD)

Billy Rutledge

The WKU baseball team completed its annual Fall World Series at Nick Denes Field last week. The intrasquad five-game series wraps up over a month’s work of preseason preparation for the 2015 season. The Red team defeated the Black team three games to one.

The Red team, which was drafted by volunteer assistant coach Casey Dykes, dropped the second game of the series, but went on to win the remainders. Returning players senior shortstop Cody Wofford, redshirt senior catcher Ryan Messex and junior left-handed pitcher Austin King headlined the winning squad.

Wofford finished the series 6-of-13 at the plate with three home runs, three RBIs and three singles. Wofford also hit a walk-off home run in game one of the series. Messex went on to tally four hits, one home run and three RBIs.    

King, from Canyon, Texas, will be in contention as a weekend starter during the 2015 season. During game three of the Fall World Series, King struck out eight batters and retired 13-straight to lead the Red team over the Black team, 3-2.

“These guys really work hard and stepped it up as a club,” Head Coach Matt Myers said. “From a preparation and work standpoint, our practices have been much better this year. Getting up at 6 a.m. in the weight room and doing things that we haven’t done in the past to have a better work ethic. I like where they are at. We have the next five weeks to fine-tune, but I love the potential.”

The Black team, drafted by undergraduate assistant coach Devin Kelly, featured two of WKU’s biggest hitters: seniors first baseman Ryan Church and designated hitter Phillip Diedrick lifted their team to a 6-4 victory in game two.

“We have a lot more guys returning offensively than our pitching staff,” Myers said. “Phil Diedrick has been the best hitter all fall — he only struck out three times throughout the series.”

With the Fall World Series over, WKU baseball will be out of action until 2015. The first game will be on Feb. 15 against Maryland in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. With a long way to go, Myers is pleased with what he’s seen so far.

“We’ve got to get better because the schedule is going to be very challenging, but this is going to be a team that a lot of people won’t want to play,” he said.