WKU falls to Tennessee in extras 5-4

Austin Lanter

After taking a one-run lead in the top of the 10th inning, the WKU baseball team allowed two runs in the bottom half of the frame to lose to Tennessee 5-4 for the second straight day.

The Toppers fell to 7-9 on the season following the loss while the Volunteers improved to 9-7.

For the second day in a row, Tennessee wasted no time taking the lead. Tuesday the Volunteers were able to plate three runs in the first and Wednesday they were able to plate one run to take an early lead.

Freshman Anderson Miller made his first career start on the mound for WKU Wednesday. Miller has been starting in left field all season but took to the mound for the mid-week game.

Miller allowed only one hit in the first inning, but one hit was all the Volunteers needed. The baserunner reached second on a WKU error and then proceeded to steal third and home to give Tennessee the 1-0 lead.

WKU was able to get a couple base runners on in the second inning but senior infielder Blake Crabtree hit into a double play to end the inning.

Miller quickly worked through the second inning, only facing four batters, retiring three and walking one. The inning would prove to be Miller’s last of the day as he was replaced by junior Jake Thompson.

Thompson quickly retired his first two batters but then allowed three straight singles as the Volunteers would plate another run to double their lead to 2-0.

The Hilltoppers were able to get one of those runs back in the fifth inning when junior outfielder Jordan Cessna launched his first home run of the season to lead off the inning.

Later in the inning, after getting a couple base runners, senior infielder Scott Wilcox connected on RBI single to tie the game.

The lead, however, did not last long.

Sophomore Tate Glasscock replaced Thompson in the sixth inning and wouldn’t last a full inning. Glasscock walked his first batter and would throw three wild pitches in the inning to score the advance the runner from first all the way to home to score and give Tennessee the lead back.

Senior Taylor Haydel replaced Glasscock and would work out of the jam to limit the damage to one run.

In the eighth inning, Cessna would come through for WKU again, connecting on an RBI single to score sophomore catcher Ryan Messex and tie the game at three.

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the two teams could get nothing in the ninth and the game would go into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th inning, Messex singled to score a run and give WKU its first lead of the game.

However, the Volunteers would score two runs off of sophomore pitcher Ian Tompkins and win the game 5-4. The winning run was scored after Tompkins hit a batter with the bases loaded.

Tompkins was credited with the loss for the game.

The game was the seventh one-run game the Hilltopppers have played this season. Out of those seven games, WKU has only won two of them.

Junior outfielder Regan Flaherty had a good day at the play for WKU connecting on three hits, as did Messex.

For the second straight day, the Hilltoppers recorded more hits than the Volunteers and still lost the game.

WKU will be back in action this Friday as they open Sun Belt Conference play against MTSU at 6 p.m. at Nick Denes Field. Games two and three will be Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.