Cardinal pitching dominates WKU

WKU senior outfielder Regan Flaherty gets a base hit 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)

Billy Rutledge

LOUISVILLE – The WKU baseball team was held to one run and five hits when they traveled to face the Louisville Cardinals Tuesday night. The Toppers (21-20, 9-9 Sun Belt Conference) were defeated 3-1 at Jim Patterson Stadium as the Cardinals completed the season sweep.

The Toppers bats struggled the entire afternoon as WKU didn’t manage a run until the eighth inning. In innings three through seven, Cardinals pitcher Josh Rogers sat down 12 batters in a row. Rogers pitched seven innings allowing three hits and one earned run on 75 pitches.

WKU’s run in the eighth inning came after a leadoff single by senior captain Regan Flaherty to start the inning. Junior catcher Ryan Messex hit a RBI double over the center fielders head to score the lone run.

With no outs and a man on second down 2-1, WKU then proceeded to strikeout twice and grounded out to end the inning. 

“That’s a credit to Rogers, he did a really nice job with us tonight,” Coach Matt Myers said. “Their defense made some really nice plays and you don’t get too many opportunities against Louisville. They are really good.”

The Cardinals (29-11) were the first to strike as they scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases when pinch hitter Colin Lyman singled to center to put the first two runs on the board. 

After WKU’s run in the eighth, the Cards scored one of their own in the eighth inning on some good base running. Cole Sturgeon was hit by a pitch, then proceeded to steal second and third base. He was finally brought home on a suicide squeeze to reach the final score of 3-1.

Ryan Thurston started the game for WKU fresh off his eight inning, one hit performance last Wednesday. He pitched only three innings giving up three hits, three walks but no runs. UofL left a total of ten runners on base.

Out of the bullpen three pitchers, Sam Higgs, Austin Clay and Tate Glasscock, pitched the other six innings also allowing the three runs.

“Our kids are doing a better job,” Myers said. “We’re competing and minimizing the mistakes. We can’t just ride Hageman or Bartley or Thompson the remainder of the season, you have to have the bullpen step up.”


The loss at Jim Patterson Stadium was WKU’s eighth straight and was the Toppers’ second loss to the Cardinals this season.

“It’s tough losing both games to your in-state rival,” Regan Flaherty said. “The goal is to get one but they are tough they have good pitching and defense. Looking forward we need to focus on the games ahead and start playing our best baseball heading into postseason play.”

WKU’s next game will be against Arkansas – Little Rock at Nick Denes Field at 6 p.m. in the first of a three game series.