Command issues on the mound ended the Toppers’ night early against Belmont on Tuesday.
WKU starting freshman left-hander Ian Tompkins issued six walks in just 1 1/3 innings to allow five earned runs while giving up just one hit.
The youngster’s troubles put WKU (14-22) in a hole early on the way to a 7-0 loss to Belmont (26-13) at Rose Park in Nashville.
The Bruins scored all four first-inning runs without a hit. Four walks, two hit batters, two wild pitches and a passed ball assisted Belmont in the scoring.
Tompkins finally recorded two outs in a row to end the first frame but not before giving Belmont an early 4-0 lead.
It was more of the same from Tompkins in the second inning.
Tompkins issued two more walks, gave up a single and was called for a balk that put Belmont up 5-0 and resulted in him being pulled after just 1 1/3 innings.
Freshman right-hander Brennan Pearson came on for the Toppers and threw the ensuing 4 2/3 innings.
Belmont would tack on two more runs in the fourth inning.
With a runner on second and one out, center fielder Dylan Craig tripled on a fly ball to left-center field that scored a run and put the Bruins up 6-0.
Another run was added when designated hitter Judah Akers hit a sacrifice fly to score Craig and stretched Belmont’s advantage to 7-0.
Left-hander Dan Ludwig got the midweek start for Belmont and held the Toppers scoreless over eight innings while allowing just seven hits.
WKU did out-hit the Bruins 9-4 but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 10 walks issued by the Toppers’ pitching staff and the early deficit.
Senior center fielder Jared Andreoli and junior first baseman Ryan Huck led WKU’s offense with two hits apiece.
The win gave Belmont a series sweep over WKU with its other win coming on March 20.
The Toppers will be back in action tomorrow as they once again travel to Nashville, this time to take on Lipscomb at 6 p.m.