Tops down Evansville, eye Louisiana-Lafayette

Austin Lanter

The WKU baseball team recorded 14 hits and eight runs Wednesday in an 8-5 win over Evansville. The Toppers will take the field in Bowling Green this weekend against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The win Wednesday was the ninth in the last 11 games at home for the Toppers and the 10th win in the last 14 games.

WKU (14-11, 5-1 Sun Belt Conference) rushed out to a 4-2 lead after three innings thanks in part to RBI No. 25 on the year from senior infielder Ryan Huck, who currently leads the Sun Belt in home runs.

“Ryan kind of started off slow but over the last three weeks he’s really locked in with his approach to right-center, and it’s really paid dividends for him,” coach Matt Myers said. “…Ryan’s one of those guys that has it (confidence) right now.”

The team would extend its lead in the seventh inning courtesy of a solo home run by senior outfielder Adam Lavelle, his first of the season. Later in the inning, junior infielder Scott Wilcox recorded an RBI single to extend the WKU lead to 8-4.

Myers sent six pitchers to the mound against Evansville with junior Jake Thompson (2-3) earning the win after starting and pitching two scoreless innings.

Freshmen Jackson Sowell and Alex Mercer, sophomores Tate Glasscock and Brennan Pearson, as well as junior Justin Hageman also saw time on the mound Wednesday.

Pearson pitched the ninth inning for the team and recorded his second save of the season and the ninth overall for WKU.

Myers said he had planned on using several pitchers in the game.

“From here on out we’re doing one game a week, so we’re going to throw what we call ‘Johnny All-Staff,’” Myers said. “We’re going to throw a bunch of guys to get a bunch of work and keep everybody fresh…I didn’t want to extend anybody too long so we’d have everybody available Friday.”

Next, WKU will welcome Louisiana-Lafayette to Nick Denes Field for a three-game series. Game one will be on Friday at 6 p.m. with games two and three at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday respectively.

“They’re (ULL) really good,” Myers said. “They’re 17-5 or something like that. They can really pitch, and they’re hitting the ball really good. They’re just a really good team, and we’ve got to do a good job and play well all three games.”