Thompson dominates in WKU’s 4-1 win over UALR

Billy Rutledge

Senior pitcher Jake Thompson threw a career-high 10 strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched as the WKU baseball team took the weekend series from Arkansas-Little Rock in a 4-1 win Sunday afternoon.

The win Sunday gave WKU (23-21, 11-10) a share of fourth place in the Sun Belt Conference with Texas-Arlington. 

Thompson allowed only one run while recorded two strikeouts in three different innings including a strikeout with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Before this game, Thompson had five strikeouts combined in three games. He is now the first to strikeout at least 10 batters since 2011 for WKU. 

“My main goal was to challenge them,” Thompson said. “We go out there with the same mentality every game. Our goal is to win and keep ourself in the game for as long as possible and we know our offense will come around.”

Senior center fielder David Simmons continued his hot streak going 2-for-4 at the plate including a two out RBI double in the second inning that scored the first run of the game while a double in the fourth led to the second run of the inning for the Toppers.

Junior designated hitter Phillip Diedrick scored the other run for WKU in the fourth on a solo home run, his first of his career at Nick Denes Field. 

WKU added on a final insurance run in the eighth inning off a two out RBI single by junior shortstop Cody Wofford. After the eighth, junior closer Ian Tompkins came in to record the save.

The save by Tompkins tied the all time single season save record at eleven games. This comes after Saturday where Tompkins gave up a run and two hits in the ninth inning.

“I’m honored to be apart of WKU history,” Tompkins said. “When I got here I really wanted to leave some kind of mark on the program and I’m glad it has happened this way.”

WKU clinched the series victory Sunday after a 7-5 loss Saturday and a 8-0 win Sunday. WKU now goes to 17-7 at Nick Denes Field on the season.

“Through all the adversity we’ve gone through, we still continue to come out and get good wins when we need them,” Coach Matt Myers said. “This was a team effort today and I was just really proud of those guys today.”

WKU looks ahead to a five game week in which four of them are on the road. WKU will play at Austin Peay Tuesday at 6 p.m.