WKU completes first sweep in Myers era with Sunday win

Austin Lanter

The WKU baseball team completed its first sweep of the season and first sweep under second-year coach Matt Myers with a 7-2 win over VMI Sunday.

The win was the third straight for the Toppers after dropping three of their last four before the series. It also pulled WKU’s overall record back to .500.

Freshman infielder Thomas Peter started the game off for WKU (7-7) in the bottom of the first by reaching on an error. The next two batters were able to successfully move Peter to third, then senior infielder Ryan Huck singled to the shortstop to score the runner and give the Toppers a 1-0 lead.

WKU was able to safely reach base in both the second and third inning off of errors by the Keydets, but could not record a hit of its own in either inning. VMI had an error in each of the first three innings.

VMI broke through in the third inning after loading the bases with only one out off of senior pitcher Tim Bado, who started for WKU. VMI infielder Ray Lopez was able to connect on a single to score a run and tie the game. The run was unearned off Bado, however, due to an error by the Toppers in the fourth.

The Keydets tacked on another unearned run in the fourth as well off of another WKU error to take the one-run lead.

After a 1-2-3 fourth inning for WKU, Bado was able to work out of the fifth inning despite allowing two singles and walking one. The two singles and walk, combined with another WKU error, loaded the bases for the Keydets with two outs, but Bado was able to get the batter to pop up and get out of the inning with no damage done.

VMI didn’t let up in the sixth inning either. Lopez led the inning off with a double off of Bado and advanced to third with only one out. After walking a batter, Bado got a strikeout and a fly-out to escape another inning.

Overall, Bado pitched six innings, allowed six hits, two runs (both unearned), walked four, and struck out four more in his first win of the season.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Huck came through for the Toppers again. After junior outfielder Regan Flaherty and senior designated hitter reached base, Huck connected on a double to score both runs and give WKU the 3-2 lead.

Freshman outfielder Anderson Miller extended the lead that same inning with a sacrifice fly to score Huck and give WKU a 4-2 lead entering the seventh inning.

WKU did not let up and scored three more runs in the seventh off of five hits to extended its lead to 7-2, the final for the game.

Huck led the way for the Hilltoppers Sunday, recording three hits and four RBI’s. Flaherty and Kelly each chipped in two hits as well.

Junior pitcher Jake Thompson and senior pitcher Taylor Haydel pitched well for WKU today, combining to throw three innings of no-hit baseball.

As a whole, the pitching staff only recorded five strikeouts on the day, almost half of its season average.

WKU will have two mid-week games this week, both on the road against Tennessee. Both games will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The Hilltoppers will then return home for a three-game set against Middle Tennessee State to open conference play, beginning Friday at 6 p.m.