WKU falls 13-3, ties worst loss of season

Senior Casey Dykes slides into home to score the first run in WKU’s game against Troy Friday night at Nick Denes Field. WKU went on to lose the first game of the weekend series 13-3.

Kurt Carson

The Toppers came into their game Friday night with a 9-7 record when scoring first, and led 1-0 after two innings.

However Troy scored nine total runs in the fourth and seventh innings that took all the momentum away from WKU.

WKU (15-23, 6-10 Sun Belt Conference) was outmatched as it fell to Troy (17-20, 6-10) 13-3 at Nick Denes Field, tying its worst loss of the season.

Head Coach Matt Myers said despite the poor result, he thought the lineup had a pretty good approach at the plate.

The Toppers did get on the board in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by junior designated hitter Adam Lavelle to take a 1-0 lead.

“We came out good,” senior right fielder Ryan Hutchison said. “But in all aspects of the game we didn’t do enough, obviously. They put up crooked numbers and we couldn’t fight back.”

Troy would score 13 runs in frames three through seven, including a four-run fourth inning and a five-run seventh inning.

The Trojans answered with a run of their own in the top of the third inning on an errant throw by WKU senior third baseman Casey Dykes that would’ve been the final out, but instead tied the game at 1-1.

Troy used a home run, a triple and a double in the fourth inning to plate four runs and take a 5-1 advantage over WKU.

With a 8-2 lead going into the seventh inning, the Trojans produced a five-run inning to cap off their offensive explosion.

An RBI double by left fielder Jo-El Bennett, a sacrifice fly by catcher Brandon Brown and an RBI single by designated hitter Jakob Nixon tacked on three runs that stretched Troy’s comfortable lead to 11-2.

The Trojans capped off the inning with first baseman Logan Pierce’s two-RBI double that sent the margin into double-digits and gave the Trojans a 13-2 edge.

Pierce led the Trojans’ offense with a 3-for-4 effort and three doubles.

Sophomore right-hander Justin Hageman started for the Toppers and struggled mightily after the first two innings. He finished having gone 4 1/3 innings while allowing seven runs—six earned—on five hits and six walks.

His opponent on the mound was quite the opposite.

Right-hander Tyler Ray got the start for the Trojans and pitched a complete game while allowing three earned runs on 10 hits.

“You have to get what you can,” Myers said. “I know his numbers don’t look that great but I never look at that because I know what that kid has done for three years and he’s a special pitcher.”

The Toppers will try to even up the series with Troy at 4 p.m. Saturday.