Toppers travel to Little Rock after 18-inning win

Austin Lanter

Fresh off of a dramatic 18-inning win over in-state rival Kentucky, the Toppers will head to Little Rock, Ark., this weekend for a three-game series against Arkansas-Little Rock.

The three games this weekend will have a hard time following the scene that unfolded Tuesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.

WKU pulled out a 3-2 win over the Wildcats in a game that lasted nearly six hours. The Toppers used seven pitchers to last through the night.

The five hour, 57 minute game came to a close in the bottom of the 18th inning when freshman outfielder Trevor Lowe hit a walk-off solo home run. It was the longest baseball game played in Division I this season.

The win against UK was the second for WKU (22-19, 11-7 Sun Belt Conference) against the Wildcats this season and came two days after dropping two games in an away Sun Belt series at South Alabama.

While the Trojans are currently tied for last place in the conference, coach Matt Myers is not taking UALR (16-26, 5-13 SBC) lightly. He said it will be a tough road test for his club.

“Little Rock is very good at home,” Myers said. “They are two completely different teams when they are on the road and at home…They’re going to be very offensive, they’re going to run the bases, a lot of pressure offense.”

Friday night the Toppers will face UALR’s Chance Cleveland, the Sun Belt preseason pitcher of the year, on the mound. He is currently is 4-6 this season with a 2.96 ERA. Cleveland also went to the same junior college as WKU senior pitcher Tim Bado.

UALR junior Ben Crumpton leads the conference with 19 steals on the year and also ranks No. 5 in the Sun Belt with 43 runs scored this season.

Myers said Cleveland and the Trojans will present a tough series over the weekend.

“We’ve got to go in and play as good as we’ve played anybody all year to beat these guys at home,” Myers said. “I told our guys at South Alabama we have to play better. We can’t look at their record, we have to respect them and we have to go in and play our best baseball or we will be very disappointed next Sunday.”

The first game of the three-game series will feature junior pitcher Tanner Perkins on the mound for WKU. First pitch for the game will be at 6 p.m.

Junior Andrew Edwards will get the nod at pitcher for Saturday’s game two, which will begin at 4 p.m. The pitcher for game three on Sunday at 1 p.m. has not yet been determined.