Cardinals defeat Toppers 5-3, WKU loses first regular season game at Bowling Green Ballpark

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)

Billy Rutledge

The Louisville Cardinals did something no other team has done against WKU at Bowling Green Ballpark.


In a close battle, the Cardinals proved to be too much for the Toppers and left Bowling Green Ballpark with a 5-3 win.

It marks the first loss for WKU (13-12) at Bowling Green Ballpark, a place where they have had previous success going 6-0 since 2010 which includes three wins against Louisville.

“We expect to win,” sophomore third baseman Thomas Peter said. “You can’t dwell on it. Tonight yeah, tomorrow got to get it right.”

Sophomore Josh Bartley started the game for WKU and did his job. The weekday starter went 5.2 innings giving up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. No decision was given to him but the bullpen couldn’t stop the Cards.

Louisville’s persistence proved to be the key to the game as they continued to tack on runs. The Cardinals scored one run in the third, sixth and ninth and two in the seventh. Any comeback WKU managed to start, which included the sixth and eighth innings, were retaliated with runs in the next frame.

The Cardinals were the first team to strike in the 3rd inning on some timely two out hitting. After two singles, Grant Kay hit a single up the middle to give the Cards their first lead 1-0. Kay ended the game 2-4 with three RBI’s.

Josh Rogers started for Louisville and held WKU scoreless for four innings only allowing two hits. It wasn’t until the 6th inning when WKU was able to get on the board. 

In the top of the 6th the Cards hit another RBI single down center field. After junior reliever Tate Glasscock got the Toppers out of a bases loaded jam, WKU managed to score some runs of their own.

In the bottom of the inning, senior Regan Flaherty had a leadoff single that extended his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest hitting streak in the past two years at WKU. After another hit and a sacrifice bunt, sophomore outfielder Anderson Miller had an RBI groundout. One hit batter later and freshman Leiff Clarkson singled to center for the third RBI of his career to tie the game at two.

Louisville showed their spunk the next inning as they retook the lead on a two run homer by Kay. WKU tried to rally in the 8th scoring a run off a double by Peter, but Louisville’s bullpen shut down the offense and they managed to tack on another run in the 9th to a final of 5-3.

WKU had plenty of chances to take the lead but timely hitting proved once again to be a problem for the Toppers.

“We had opportunities,” coach Matt Myers said. “We did a pretty god job offensively I thought our intensity needs to get better. It’s a tough schedule and a tough week this week, but I want it to be tough one our opponents. Tonight we competed hard but don’t know if everybody was locked in all the way since we had some chances to win that game.”