WKU overcomes early deficits, takes series from Troy

Austin Lanter

For the first time ever, the WKU baseball team won back-to-back series’ against Troy, beating the Trojans two out of three times this weekend.

Both years the Toppers lost game one of the series and rebounded with victories in games two and three.

In all three games this weekend the Trojans were able to shake up the starting pitcher of WKU.

Friday night coach Matt Myers sent junior ace Tanner Perkins to the mound, who in six innings pitched allowed seven hits and four runs, with all runs earned and in the fifth inning

However, Myers said that Perkins played well and it was the defense behind him that struggled a bit.

“I thought Tanner Perkins was outstanding,” Myers said. “That’s the one positive thing I can come out of here with. That’s two weeks in a row he’s thrown two really good starts. He’s feeling better. We didn’t play good enough behind him, but he gave us a chance to win.”

Troy used big innings on Friday to defeat the Toppers. Not only did they score four in the fifth, but five in the seventh as well to down WKU 11-3.

The Trojans were able to carry that momentum into Saturday’s contest as well as they came out swinging against junior pitcher Andrew Edwards.

The first batter Edwards faced reached on an error by senior infielder Blake Crabtree. Edwards would walk his next batter and allow a three-run homer to right fielder Danny Collins to give Troy a 3-0 lead with no outs in the first.

Edwards avoided further damage in the inning despite the Trojans loading the bases with one out.

“It obviously didn’t go the way I wanted,” Edwards said. “I made a mistake, (Collins) took advantage of it. But I got all the support from my teammates in the dugout, coach Myers just said ‘keep going’ and pitch the way I know how to and I got the result I wanted.”

Despite being down early, the Toppers battled back and scored three runs in the first inning themselves to tie the game once more. WKU would allow one more run in the third and battled back again, scoring one run in both the fifth and sixth to take the game 5-4.

The deciding run came off the bat of junior infielder Jordan Cessna who singled to left field to bring home senior Devin Kelly.

“You just want to be aggressive,” Cessna said. “The first swing wasn’t the best, but I just stuck to my approach…I just battled and finally he made a mistake I hit a good one.

Sunday’s matchup, the deciding game three, proved to be much like Saturday’s in the sense that WKU found itself down early. Senior pitcher Tim Bado allowed one run in the second and five runs in the third and just like that the Tops were down 6-1.

Of those six runs, only two of them were earned as the Tops committed three errors in the third inning alone.

WKU was able to score one run in the third, fifth and seventh innings, two in the ninth to tie it, and one in the 10th to win it and complete the comeback.

“We’ve been doing that all year,” Myers said. “We don’t panic and we believe in each other…We look at every inning…it’s win this inning and chip back and chip back and chip back….We’ve been doing it all year. I guess it’s torture on everybody but I’ll take it.”

WKU will be back in action Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn., against Lipscomb, who defeated WKU March 20 in Bowling Green by one in extras.