WKU’s baseball season over after Sun Belt Tournament loss to Arkansas State

Elliott Pratt

The Toppers’ post-season life was short lived as two losses that eliminated them from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Lafayette, La.

WKU’s rally with four runs in the eighth inning on Monday fell short one run with a 5-4 loss to Florida Atlantic, putting the Toppers in an elimination game Thursday morning versus Arkansas State.

Three errors and a weak defense cost WKU a chance at redemption as the Red Wolves routed the Toppers 10-4 to end the season.

WKU coach Matt Myers said his team never lost hope even when it seemed Arkansas State had the win secured.

“With this club, you never think you’re out of a game,” Myers said. “I thought we were going to win the game with two outs. This bunch has always done that kind of thing until they are told they can’t play any more. These kids have shown all year long that they’re very resilient.”

With WKU trailing by one run in the fourth inning, a throwing error by senior third baseman Blake Crabtree scored an ASU runner. Following another base hit from the Red Wolves, Dustin Jones singled to left field where the ball rolled under the glove of senior left fielder Adam Lavell to notch another error for WKU, and two additional runs for ASU.

The Hilltoppers didn’t find home plate until the sixth inning until a ground out RBI from junior short stop Scott Wilcox sent Crabtree home for the run.

WKU found life in the offense with three runs in the seventh inning courtesy of a Blake Crabtree RBI and senior second baseman Steve Hodgins driving in two runs off a hit up the middle.

Myers called the five unearned runs for Arkansas State “frustrating”.

“They shouldn’t have had them,” Myers said. “Pitching and defense today really hurt us. I hate to see our seniors go out in that fashion. Every one of those seven guys had a foot in our program.”

WKU wraps up the year 28-29 overall and 16-14 in Sun Belt Conference play.