Hageman throws complete game, Tops win 4-1 over Texas State

Billy Rutledge

Senior pitcher Justin Hageman started the year as WKU’s Friday starter and against Texas State, he showed why he deserves that spot.

Hageman pitched a complete game for WKU on their way to a victory 4-1 win against the Texas State Bobcats for the Toppers’ first home conference series of the season. 

Nine innings, four hits, zero earned runs, a career high nine strikeouts on 111 pitches was Hageman’s final stat line in his first win of the season.

It was his third career complete game and his last since May 7, 2011 when Hageman was a freshman. Hageman nearly threw a shutout, but an error in the ninth inning allowed for the Bobcats to score an unearned run.

Hageman sat down 12 hitters in a row between the fourth and seventh innings and ended the game striking out four of his last seven batters. Before this game Hageman had a total of 14 strikeouts on the season before his nine Friday. 

“I controlled my pitches and got ahead in the count,” Hageman said. “I kept them uncomfortable and I stayed comfortable.

“I haven’t really had (control) this whole season. I told myself before this game started I’m just going to paint fastballs and try not to walk people and that’s what I did.”

It was the second meeting all-time between WKU (14-9) and Texas State, with the Toppers winning the first meeting in 2010.

The win extended the Toppers’ home win streak to nine games and allowed WKU to take the first of three game of the weekend series.

The first four innings were a pitchers duel between Hageman and Texas States pitcher Taylor Black. Both teams were unable to come up with a run on a combined five hits.

It wasn’t until the fifth inning before any team did some damage. A pair of sophomores were the ones to break the deadlock.

After a lead-off single by Anderson Miller, Thomas Peter was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.

A sacrifice bunt by freshman Leiff Clarkson moved them over and allowed for senior Scott Wilcox to step to the plate. A two out single up the middle scored the first runs of the night for any team. 

WKU didn’t wait long to tally on more runs as some clutch two out hitting scored two more in the bottom of the sixth. Two two out singles by junior Ryan Messex and Miller allowed for Peter to hit a long two run double of the top of the left field wall. The hit extended the Toppers lead to 4-0. 

“I’ve been struggling a little bit but I try to not let that affect me,” Peter said. “I’ve been working hard, trying to get through it, worked with (Coach Matt) Myers before the game, got some hitting in and it paid off.”

The Bobcats finally showed signs of life in the top of the ninth inning when a misplayed ball by senior Regan Flaherty in right field allowed for a triple. A sacrifice fly the next batter ended the shutout for Hageman but he was able to finish the game for the win.


Senior Austin Clay will get the start for WKU against Texas State Saturday at 3 p.m. for the second of three game series this weekend.