Hot bats, fresh arms send Tops over Evansville

Laura Beranek

WKU (14-11) brought back a little heat from their series last weekend in Miami to the chillier weather of Nick Denes Field on Wednesday in a home game against Evansville.

Junior right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson was credited with the win, backed by a strong supporting pitching staff that would use a total of six pitchers to top the Purple Aces.

Thompson (2-3) started with a scoreless two innings, striking out three of the eight batters he faced.

Freshmen pitcher Jackson Sowell worked the mound the next two innings, giving up two runs off a Kevin Kaczmarski home run, and fellow freshman pitcher Alex Mercer followed with a perfect fifth inning. 

Sophomore pitcher Tate Glasscock, junior pitcher Justin Hageman and sophomore pitcher Brennan Pearson followed suit to shut down the show in the 8-5 victory.

The team racked up fourteen hits, with five Toppers boasting a multi-hit game.

Senior left fielder Adam Lavelle went yard in the seventh inning for his first home run of the season, and senior Ryan Huck tallied two RBIs during different innings to bring his total to 25 through the same number of games.

Coach Matt Myers says the first baseman’s recent hot streak will only add to the energy the team carries into this weekend series.

“Baseball’s a game of confidence and momentum and I think Ryan’s one of those guys whose got it right now,” Myers said, “There will be a couple games when he’s going to be down but right now, it’s great having him in that five hole as hot as he is.”

The lineup of freshman Thomas Peter, senior Scott Wilcox, junior Regan Flaherty, and junior Devin Kelly that occupy the four slots in front of Huck went for a combined 5-for-16 against the Evansville pitching staff, adding three runs to WKU’s eight-run total.

Wednesday’s game was the first of a five game home stand that continues Friday with a three game series against Louisiana-Lafayette (18-6, 3-3 Sun Belt).

Myers says the constant rotation of arms will be essential for the conference rival matchup.

 “We’re going to throw a bunch of guys to get a bunch of work and to keep everybody fresh,” he said. “We have a tall order coming up Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”

 WKU will look to keep their home field dominance alive when they host the Ragin’ Cajuns, starting Friday at 6 pm at Nick Denes Stadium.