Baseball team goes 2-1 over weekend

WKU sophomore outfielder Matthew Paculan slides safely into second base during the WKU vs Central Michigan University game at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. on Friday February 22, 2013. The Toppers lost the first game Friday night 4-2, but were able to win the last two to win the series and improve to .500 on the year.

Austin Lanter

Despite dropping game one of a three-game set against Central Michigan, the WKU baseball team was able to win games two and three to take the series this weekend.

The Toppers got off to a slow start Friday and would lose the game 4-2. Both of WKU’s runs came in the ninth inning as they sent eight batters to the plate in the final frame.

Central Michigan was able to capitalize on a couple of mistakes by the Toppers early including scoring a run in the first inning without getting a hit. In fact, CMU didn’t record its first hit until the fourth inning.

Senior pitcher Tim Bado pitched well for WKU (3-3) in his second start of the season, allowing two hits, two runs, and striking out seven in 4.2 innings of work.

“I’m definitely starting to get the feel of it a little bit more,” Bado said. “I didn’t really fill up the zone like I needed to today, but I felt a lot better than I did last week.”

Throughout the game, WKU was not able to convert on its opportunities. The team left 10 men on base throughout the course of the game and didn’t record a hit until the fifth inning.

“Our pitching staff is going to keep you right in the game,” Myers said. “I mean we didn’t pitch great tonight but it was a 4-2 game in the ninth. We’re going to be right there with our pitching staff, we just have to help them out.”

The next day proved to be a different story entirely for Myers’ team. WKU was able to get its bats going early and often in game two.

After only scoring 11 runs in its last three games, the Toppers broke through on Saturday, plating 12 runs off 15 hits. Not only was WKU effective at the plate, the team took advantage of its opportunities, recording six hits with runners in scoring position.

“That is our potential right there,” coach Matt Myers said. “That was good to see, especially since we weren’t as sharp on the mound. It was neat to answer back like that.”

Two WKU catchers had solo home runs in Saturday’s match-up. Sophomore Ryan Messex started the fourth inning with a leadoff blast, the first of his career, to tie the game. Later in the eighth inning, senior Devin Kelly, designated hitter for the game, recorded his first home run of the season to extend the Topper lead.

“It felt good,” Messex said. “But anybody that gets in the box we have confidence in to get the job done. We were just trying to start something for the team and get back on top right there.”

Five WKU players had multi-hit games, eight of the nine starters had at least one hit, and six had at least one RBI on Saturday. The win ended a six-game losing streak to the Central Michigan.

On Sunday, the Toppers were able to keep the bats going, recording 10 hits on the day.

WKU scored a couple runs in the third inning and a run in both the seventh and eighth to win the game 4-2.

The bullpen was again lights out for the Toppers, pitching five innings on Sunday and only allowing one hit and no runs.

“I think we’re going be good like everybody said,” junior pitcher Tanner Perkins said. “I think this is going to kick start our offense and hopefully we can roll through the two mid-week games.”

WKU will go on the road for the first time this season as they play Belmont (5-2) on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Nashville. The two teams will play again the next day in Bowling Green at 3 p.m.