Clutch pitching saves WKU in 2-1 win over Georgia State

Elliott Pratt

It didn’t come as easy as the night before, but WKU took the series in dramatic fashion in a 2-1 win over Georgia State.

WKU (29-24, 15-14 SBC) sent Ian Tompkins to the mound to record his 14th save of the year, striking out the last two batter with runners at second and third.

WKU will go for the series sweep tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Nick Denes Field for senior day.

Georgia State’s leadoff hitter Chad Prain scored on back-to-back fielding errors from Ryan Church to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead with no outs in the first inning.

Sophomore right hander Josh Bartly worked out of a leadoff single from Matt Rose to get out of the second inning with no runs.

Phillip Diedrick hit a solo home run to lead off the third inning to tie the game at one run a piece. It was Diedrick’s fourth home run of the year.

“I’ve been working with coach (Brandon) Dougherty because there’s been a few holes in the swing,” Diedrick said. “I came out and helped the team out and it ended up being good for the team.

“We really have to go out there and win it for the seniors. They’ve done so much and also it helps with momentum going into the conference tournament if we can get on a little run here.”

Bartly gave up two hits and walked another batter to load the bases in the top of the fifth, but the product of South Warren High School worked the Toppers out of the jam to remain tied.

Brandon Allen came in the top of the sixth inning to replace Bartley, who finished his day after 5 innings pitched with no earned runs and four hits.

With runners on first and second, Hunter Wood hit a single while Regan Flaherty was thrown out at home plate to end the inning.

Diedrick continued his solid day at the plate with a leadoff double in the seventh inning. A sacrifice bunt from Lieff Clarkson moved pinch runner Trevor Lowe over to third. Cody Wofford’s hit an RBI single on his first pitch to score Lowe, giving WKU the 2-1 lead, its first of the day.

Cody Coll saw his most significant playing time with 1.2 innings pitched with one strikeout.

“The biggest factor was throwing strikes and my fastball was working fine,” Coll said. “It was a boost of confidence for sure. When you’ve got the coaches behind your back and you feel untouchable. That’s how I felt the last few times.”

Tompkins allowed only one hit and got WKU out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning, securing the win for the Toppers.