Toppers head to Arkansas St.

Junior infielder Scott Wilcox protests being called out at third base during WKU’s game against Austin Peay on Wednesday.

Brad Stephens

Matt Myers pegged Arkansas State as the Sun Belt Conference’s best team when the season began.

“I thought this was the team to beat all year in our league,” WKU’s coach said. “I preseason picked them No. 1. I thought with everything they had coming back, this was the team to beat.”

Now it’s Myers’ Toppers (16-13, 7-2 Sun Belt) tied with Florida Atlantic (20-9, 7-2) atop the league. WKU will go west to Jonesboro Ark., this weekend for a three-game set against Myers’ preseason pick, the Red Wolves (17-13, 4-5). First pitch Friday is 6 p.m. (Radio: 1450 AM).

WKU is fresh off of a 3-1 home loss to Austin Peay on Wednesday. The Topper offense had trouble that outing, recording a total of four hits on the night.

Arkansas State has struggled the last two weeks of league play. The Red Wolves were swept by FIU last weekend after dropping two of three against FAU the weekend before.

Still WKU catcher Ryan Messex said Arkansas State’s frontline pitchers could give the Toppers trouble.

Daniel Wright (2-2, 2.53 ERA) and Bradley Wallace (3-0, 3.21) are the Red Wolves’ two best starters.

“We know they’ve got a couple of good guys on the mound,” said Messex, who’s hitting a team-high .354 this year. “It’s going to be a battle. We’re going to have to do the little things to keep up.”

Offensively the ASU lineup features Ryan Roberts (.362 average, one HR, 16 RBIs), who’s riding a 10-game hit streak. Ryan Emery (.323, 24 RBIs) and Colin Massanelli (.299, three HRs, 19 RBIs).

“It’s an experienced couple of guys in there,” Myers said. “What we need to do is get back to (Tanner) Perkins having a good start. He looks great, fresh.

“Get behind that, get the juice up, get the lead is going to be huge for us early down there.”

Glasscock, Miller done for year

WKU right-hander Tate Glasscock (hip) and Anderson Miller (shoulder) will miss the remainder of the 2013 season with injuries, Myers announced Wednesday.

Miller, a freshman product of Lafayette High School, had started 20 games for the Toppers in 2013, hitting .221. He also appeared on the mound in a game against Tennessee. Miller hasn’t started since March 19 against Kentucky.

Glasscock, a sophomore product of Breckenridge County HS, had made nine appearances out of the WKU bullpen. He threw nine innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and 10 walks.

“Both of those young men are tireless workers,” Myers said, “and I know that they will come back healthy and ready to help our baseball team next season.”