WKU storms back for 7-6 victory over South Alabama

Kurt Carson

WKU got down early and put itself in a pretty large hole in the first game of its series against South Alabama.

But the Toppers busted out for five seventh-inning runs to come back against the Jaguars and get the edge in the series opener.

WKU (21-28, 11-14 Sun Belt Conference) used its big inning to defeat South Alabama (18-31, 12-13) 7-6 on Friday night in Mobile, Ala.

With runners on first and second base and no outs in the top of the seventh inning, senior center fielder Jared Andreoli singled up the middle to plate a run and cut the Jaguars’ lead to 5-3.

After the runners were moved to second and third base on a ground out, senior third baseman Casey Dykes laced a two-RBI double down the left-field line that tied the game at 5-5.

Dykes led WKU’s offense with a 2-for-5 effort and two RBIs.

The Toppers tacked on two more runs in the inning to take a 7-5 lead on a throwing error by third baseman Dustin Dalken and an RBI single by junior catcher Devin Kelly.

South Alabama threatened with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and two outs after it had already cut WKU’s edge to 7-6.

However, pinch hitter J.T. Files flied out to end the inning, leave the bases loaded and secure the series-opening victory for the Toppers.

The Jaguars jumped on WKU for three first-inning runs.

An RBI ground out, a catcher’s interference call and a bases-loaded walk to shortstop Graham Odom gave South Alabama a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.

Both WKU and South Alabama recorded a lone run in the second inning to make it a 4-1 Jaguars lead.

The Toppers cut their deficit to 4-2 in the third inning when junior first baseman Ryan Huck lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.

However South Alabama edged its lead back out to three runs at 5-2 when a Jaguar base runner scored on a balk in the bottom of the sixth inning.

But what seemed to be a comfortable lead for South Alabama changed with WKU’s five-run seventh inning that secured a Toppers’ victory.

WKU will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for the second game of the series.