‘Dumb baseball’ costs WKU in 1-0 loss

Kurt Carson

Though WKU had a few chances to score throughout the first eight innings on Saturday, none were bigger than what came in the ninth inning.

Head Coach Matt Myers said it was simply “dumb baseball” that cost them what was their biggest opportunity to get on the board in a one-run game.

Poor base running and the inability for WKU (13-18, 5-6 Sun Belt Conference) to capitalize on a two-on, no-out, ninth inning situation led to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Louisiana-Lafayette (14-16, 4-7) at Moore Field in Lafayette, La.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the ninth inning, WKU looked to have some hope as junior designated hitter Blake Crabtree led off with a walk.

Sophomore pinch-hitter Jordan Cessna attempted a sacrifice bunt but ended up reaching first base and moved Crabtree to third on an error by ULL right-hander Caleb Kellogg with no outs.

Junior shortstop Steve Hodgins attempted a sacrifice bunt of his own, but Crabtree was thrown out at the plate and Cessna was caught trying to go first-to-third for the second out.

Hodgins then was caught stealing second base for the final out, resulting in a 1-0 loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“It’s guys trying hard but it’s dumb baseball,” Myers told WKU’s Big Red Radio Network. “We had the right guy at the plate to try and execute. They just executed a little better than us.”

Myers said they simply “gave the game away.”

“No disrespect but they didn’t win that game,” Myers said. “We gave them that game. We had the game in the ninth inning.”

However, Myers said that he does tip his hat to Ragin’ Cajun’ starting left-hander Chris Griffitt for his performance on the mound.

Griffitt held the Toppers scoreless on five hits over 6 1/3 innings while recording eight strikeouts.

Kellogg finished off the shutout by allowing just one hit over the last 2 2/3 innings.

It’s the first time WKU has been shutout all season.

The Toppers stranded two runners on base in each of the fifth and sixth innings.

In the eighth inning, sophomore first baseman Scott Wilcox drew a two-out walk and a double by senior right fielder Ryan Hutchison put runners on second and third base for WKU.

However, sophomore left fielder David Simmons got down in a 1-2 count and struck out to end the inning and the threat.

Junior left-hander Tim Bado started for WKU and pitched effectively over eight innings. He allowed just one run on five hits while recording six strikeouts.

Myers said Bado pitched great and found ways to get out of jams when he got in them.

“Tim has such good swing-and-miss stuff,” Myers said. “I don’t really worry when we get in jams because, unlike a lot of our guys, he has two or three pitches he can go to for a strikeout in those situations. “

But the one run awarded to ULL was enough to give the Ragin’ Cajuns the victory.

Left fielder Daniel Nichols led off the third inning with a walk for ULL and was advanced to third base on a single and a sacrifice bunt.

Nichols came in to score on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Brian Bowman for what would be the eventual winning run.

WKU and ULL will play the rubber match at 1 p.m. Sunday with junior right-hander Taylor Haydel likely taking the mound for the Toppers.