Late rally not enough as Toppers fall to CMU

Austin Lanter

The WKU baseball team rallied late against Central Michigan but could not overcome the deficit, falling 4-2 to the Chippewas Friday night.

Central Michigan (2-3) leads the all-time series against WKU (1-3) by a count of 6-1.

Central Michigan jumped out to an early 1-0 lead scoring a run in the first inning without getting a hit. After senior pitcher Tim Bado walked Chippewa Pat MacKenzie and balked him to second, MacKenzie stole third and then scored on a throwing error by WKU senior catcher Devin Kelly.

The Toppers had a chance to respond in the bottom half of the frame but stranded a runner on third.

“It’s tough,” Bado said. “At the beginning of the year the pitchers are still going to be ahead of the hitters, just give them some time and they’ll get there.”

The Chippewas recorded the first hit of the game for either team in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI double to take a 2-0 lead. This was the first time in over 14 innings that a WKU pitcher allowed an earned run.

WKU would again have a chance to get a run on the board in the bottom half of the frame, but again stranded a runner on third base.

After 4.2 innings of work, coach Matt Myers sent sophomore pitcher Tate Glasscock to the mound to relieve Bado. Bado had seven strikeouts, allowed two hits and one earned run in his second start of the season.

“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.”

Freshman outfielder Anderson Miller recorded a single with no outs in the fifth inning to give WKU their first hit of the game. However, the Toppers couldn’t advance him past second base.

CMU took advantage of its opportunities the very next inning. After a leadoff double by Jordan Adams, he stole third and was brought in by a sacrifice fly. The very next batter, Neal Jacobs, hit a home run to give the Chippewa’s a 4-0 lead.

Myers pulled Glasscock after just one inning of play after allowing two runs. Freshman pitcher Josh Bartley then came to the mound, making his first appearance as a Topper.

Central Michigan pitcher Jordan Foley was effective in his second start of the season, going six innings, allowing two hits, no runs, and recording eight strikeouts.

Bartley came out of the bullpen and did his job, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing two hits, no runs, and striking out three.

“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.”

In the bottom half of the ninth, down 4-0, WKU found its bats. After scoring one run, the bases were loaded with only one out. The Toppers were able to plate another run, but CMU struck out the last two batters to end the game.

WKU and CMU will play game two of the three game set Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with game three on Sunday at noon, both at Nick Denes Field. The Toppers will send junior pitchers Andrew Edwards and Tanner Perkins to the mound Saturday and Sunday, respectively.