WKU survives late push, defeats BGSU 4-3

Austin Lanter

The WKU baseball team avoided a series sweep against Bowling Green State Sunday, defeating the Falcons 4-3 at home.

Although the Toppers were in control the majority of the game, BGSU made it interesting late, scoring three runs in the ninth inning to bring the game within one run.

However, WKU (1-2) was able to hold on and secure their first win of the season after playing in three one-run games to open the year.

“I was happy with our guys today, we played a complete game today,” coach Matt Myers said. “We had a little adversity there in the ninth but we didn’t fade away from it. That was a complete game today. When you’ve got guys like Tanner (Perkins) and Andrew (Edwards) who can throw like that on Sunday’s for you, it’s going to be fun.”

Junior pitcher Tanner Perkins made his return to the mound after suffering a season-ending injury last March. In four innings of work, Perkins threw 41 pitches including 27 strikes, allowed 0 runs, one hit, had a strikeout, and walked one.

“It started to come back after I got out there,” Perkins said. “I was a little anxious at first but my nerves calmed down and I was able to get the first guy out which helped me a lot.”

The team got off to a much better start both offensively and defensively Sunday against the Falcons.

WKU took its first lead of the season after 19 innings of play in the first inning. Freshman infielder Thomas Peter started the Toppers off with a base hit and junior outfielder Regan Flaherty followed suit.

Senior first baseman Ryan Huck singled next to bring Peter home for the 1-0 lead. Right after Huck, senior catcher Devin Kelly recorded a base hit to drive in two more runs for WKU, to take a 3-0 lead.

“It was exciting,” Kelly said. “A couple young guys sparked us today. I mean, Thomas Peter got it going for us. Just putting the ball in play when we needed it and that’s all it’s really about – putting the ball in play and driving guys in.”

Huck would tally another RBI, his third of the year, in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Peter, who started the inning off with a leadoff double.

Junior pitcher Andrew Edwards came on in relief of Perkins and pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero earned runs while striking out nine, a season-high for WKU pitchers.

“That’s one thing that coach has been pounding home real hard (filling up the strike zone),” Edwards said. “Just fill it up early, get in the groove, and go from there.”

WKU took a four run lead into the ninth inning, and were one out away from the shutout win when things got interesting.

The Falcons reached base on a couple of errors and a wild pitch and were able to plate three runs with two outs.

After that, sophomore pitcher Ian Tompkins came in for the Toppers to record the final out of the game, giving the team a 4-3 win.

WKU will be back in action this Friday against Central Michigan at 3 p.m. in Bowling Green. Games two and three of the series will also be in Bowling Green at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.