FIU beats WKU 5-3 in extras

Junior Tim Bado pitches for WKU against Florida International on Saturday, March 24, 2012. WKU lost the game 5-3. 

Kurt Carson

WKU did on Saturday what they couldn’t do just a day before by tying the game in the latter portions.

However after tying it up in the bottom of the ninth inning the Toppers couldn’t break through for a win in extra innings.

Florida International (10-11, 2-3 Sun Belt Conference) got on the board in the 12th inning to win 5-3 over WKU (9-14, 1-4) in front of 498 fans at Nick Denes Field.

Two Panther batters reached base in the top of 12th inning and advanced to second and third base on a wild pitch with two outs.

Back-to-back two-out singles by first baseman Adam Kirsch and designated hitter Jabari Henry scored two runs to give the Panthers a 5-3 lead.

Right-hander Eddy Pidermann finished the game on the mound for FIU to earn the victory in game two of the series.

The Panthers got the scoring started in the top of the second inning when they loaded the bases with only one out.

FIU right fielder Nathan Burns proceeded to draw a walk that scored a run and a sac fly by second baseman T.J. Shantz made it 2-0 Panthers.

FIU added another run in the top of the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead on an RBI single by left fielder Roche Woodard.

Junior left-hander Tim Bado started for WKU and struggled with command early but finished going 7 2/3 innings while allowing three earned runs on five hits and striking out four.

Bado said he really didn’t feel like he had anything in the tank during today’s start but knew he had to settle down.

“I realized it was going to be one of those days where I didn’t have anything,” Bado said. “I just tried to battle for my team the best I could.”

However Myers said he was impressed with Bado’s ability to settle down.

“He did a great job,” Myers said. “He was able to pitch and locate. I couldn’t ask for anything more from him.”

The Toppers didn’t record a hit until the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth senior center fielder Jared Andreoli, sophomore first baseman Scott Wilcox and senior right fielder Ryan Hutchison produced back-to-back-to-back singles that plated a run and cut FIU’s lead to 3-1.

Wilcox eventually came around to score in the inning on an error and made it a 3-2 Panthers’ advantage.

Bado settled down for WKU after the fourth inning and retired nine FIU batters in a row.

Both teams were held scoreless until the bottom of the ninth inning when WKU trailed 3-2.

Two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for WKU with one out and brought Andreoli up to the plate.

Andreoli grounded into a force out at second base but beat out the throw to first base to avoid the game-ending double play and allowed the tying run to score.

However Wilcox couldn’t come up with a walk-off hit as he flied out to send the game into extra innings.

WKU and FIU were each held scoreless in the 10th and 11th innings despite having opportunities with runners in scoring position.

However in the top of the 12th inning the Panthers finally got to junior right-hander Taylor Haydel to earn the victory.

“It got tense towards the end there,” Haydel said. “I was just trying to push as hard as I can to give the offense a chance there.”

Despite Haydel being credited with the loss he provided 4 1/3 innings of relief while allowing just two earned runs on five hits and six strikeouts.

Myers said the loss on Haydel’s record doesn’t show the type of outing that he had and that he, as well as Bado, deserved a win.

“He was getting a little fatigued there but I’m sure proud of that kid,” Myers said. “Him and Bado deserve better than that.”

The Toppers will look to salvage game three of the series as they take on FIU at 12 p.m. on Saturday at Nick Denes Field. Freshman left-hander Ian Tompkins will get the start for WKU.

“I told them to keep their heads up,” Myers said. “We’ve been through a lot of adversity but we’ve done a lot of good things. This program’s too proud to hang their heads.”