WKU dominates early, holds on late to beat UNC Asheville 6-4

WKU’s senior infielder Scott Wilcox (11) hits a home run giving the Toppers a 5-4 lead over Southern Illinois in the 5th inning Feb. 16, 2014, at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. The Toppers would go on to win 6-4. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Billy Rutledge

One day after an eighth inning rally by the WKU baseball team for a comeback win over UNC Asheville, the Toppers were at it again and found themselves in a similar situation.

This time the script was flipped as it was WKU that had a 5-0 lead going into the eighth inning and the Bulldogs were the ones who were on the comeback.

But unlike yesterday, the leading team was able to hold on and secure victory, with the Toppers coming away with a 6-4 win.

Besides the eighth inning, the game was going exactly to plan for the Toppers. Senior pitcher Austin Clay went five strong innings without giving up a run and had his career low in hits allowed in a game after five innings pitched.

He was the one who set the tone for WKU early and allowed the offense to ease into the game instead of playing catch up like the majority of games this year.

Recording only one strikeout, Clay was able to secure his second win on his second start of the season.

“When I slow myself down, things start rolling a little bit better,” Clay said. “I was able to get out of some situations today and settle in.”

The offense did everything they could today to get the win for Clay.

Ending with 14 hits, senior Scott Wilcox and sophomore Trevor Lowe were two of many batters that shined.

Wilcox went 4-of-5 with two RBI’s and a homerun and also ended a triple short of the cycle in his third career four-hit game.

Lowe, who has shown productive numbers lately, went 3-for-4 and had two critical moments in the beginning and end of the game scoring the second run and driving in the last.

 Junior Cody Wofford also joined in on the action as he hit his third homerun of the year with a two run blast in the seventh inning.

Wofford has four hits this year as the leadoff man and three of those have left Nick Denes Field.

“We have a circular lineup, it doesn’t matter who is coming up,” Coach Matt Myers said. “We have so many hitters I can’t get all these guys in the lineup and it’s nice to have that problem.”

The Bulldogs finally showed life in the eighth as they recorded four runs off of three hits and four walks.

They were able to load the bases multiple times and the damage may have been much worse if it wasn’t for junior pitcher Brennan Pearson, who came in and struck the last batter out with the bases loaded.

The depth of the bullpen played a huge role as three pitchers each recorded one out in the 8th and held the lead for the Toppers.

After an insurance run from Lowe which took some pressure off of the bullpen, junior Ian Tompkins was able to secure his third save of the season and advance the Toppers to a 4-2 record.

After that win, WKU also secured the series victory over the Bulldogs. This marks their second series win out of two as they won two out of three against Southern Illinois last weekend.

The final game of the series against UNC Asheville will be played Sunday at 1 p.m.