The WKU baseball team lost to Bowling Green State University Saturday, the second consecutive one-run loss for the team.
The Toppers lost by a count of 3-2 Saturday and 9-8 the night before in extra innings.
It is the first time since 1952 that WKU has played back-to-back one run games to open the season.
The loss was also the second straight opening weekend series loss for WKU (0-2).
WKU got off to a much better start Saturday, though. Through two innings of play on Friday, BGSU had eight runs while Saturday WKU held the Falcons to just one hit and one run through two.
Senior pitcher Tim Bado had a strong showing for WKU. In over five innings of work, Bado allowed four hits – a career low for him – and two runs while pitching five strikeouts and no walks. At one point in the game, Bado had retired 11 straight batters.
“He did unbelievable,” coach Matt Myers said. “That’s the start you’ve got to have. That’s the start I expected from Justin (Hageman) yesterday. Tim was great and we needed it when we went to the bullpen early Friday. He gave us a chance to win and he was outstanding.”
BGSU (2-0) started the scoring in the second inning with a leadoff home run. WKU would respond with a leadoff home run of its own coming from senior first baseman Ryan Huck. The home run was Huck’s first since April of last season.
Huck was also able to connect on a double in the eighth inning. After reaching third base, the team could not bring him in.
“(BGSU) made a couple mistakes and I was able to capitalize on them,” Huck said. “That’s our mentality – trying to make a mistake hurt them.”
With two outs in the fifth inning, Bado left the game and handed the ball off to junior pitcher Jake Thompson, a junior college transfer, who made his first appearance for WKU Saturday.
In one and one-third innings work for the Toppers, Thompson allowed one run, the game winning run in the 7th inning, and is credited with the loss for the game.
This makes the second straight game that the bullpen has come in and helped keep WKU in the game, and Myers is very high on this pitching staff for that reason.
“Our bullpen has been phenomenal,” he said. “I’ve said it – I really like this pitching staff and I’m not afraid to put them in. We’ve throw five guys out of the bullpen and they’ve been really good and we’ve got four or five more coming tomorrow. So I’m excited for that.”
Bado agreed, and said that the pitching staff has “unbelievable potential” this year. He also said that with the bullpen playing the way it is that the team is going to be very tough once everyone gets clicking.
WKU definitely had their chances during the game, but was unable to convert. Overall, the team is four-for-20 with runners in scoring position this year.
The Toppers will take the field again Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for game three of the series and are still looking for things that they can take away from it, despite having already lost the series.
“We don’t want to get swept on our own field,” Huck said. “I think we’re a good home team and always have been. We definitely want to take the game tomorrow and not let them get the sweep on our own field.”
Bado said that this series has been a “little embarrassing” and that the team is a lot better than they have played thus far.
WKU has a chance to take game three tomorrow when junior ace Tanner Perkins heads to the mound. Perkins will be making his first start since last March after he went down with a season ending injury.