Six-run seventh inning leads to 12-8 WKU victory

Kurt Carson

There was an abundance of offense in WKU’s game on Wednesday.

The Toppers (9-12) used a big six-run seventh inning to win a 12-8 shootout against Austin Peay (11-10) in Clarksville, Tenn.

Trailing 8-6 in the seventh inning, senior second baseman Ivan Hartle led off with a double down the left-field line.

Following a walk by sophomore first baseman Scott Wilcox, senior right fielder Ryan Hutchison sent a three-run shot over the left-field fences to take a 9-8 lead for the Toppers.

Hutchison’s home run was his second of the year – both of which have come within the last five days.

WKU wasn’t done tacking on runs with just one out in the inning.

Two more runners reached base on a walk and a hit by pitch. Junior first baseman Ryan Huck proceeded to hit a double that scored a run and gave WKU a 10-8 lead.

Huck finished the game with a 3-for-4 effort while tacking on two RBIs.

After another run scored on a wild pitch, senior center fielder Jared Andreoli capped off the six-run inning with an RBI single to make it 12-8.

The other combined 14 runs of the game all came in the first six innings.

Both starters – WKU sophomore right-hander GJ Strauss and Governors right-hander Brock Boyher – struggled on the mound.

Strauss allowed three earned runs over two innings of work while Boyher gave up four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Both teams traded runs in the first inning before WKU tacked on two in the second inning when junior catcher Devin Kelly hit a two-run home run to give the Toppers a 3-1 lead.

However, the Governors tallied a run in the second inning and added two in the third inning to regain the lead at 4-3.

WKU and Austin Peay exchanged runs once again in the fourth inning before the Governors expanded their advantage to 6-4 in the fifth inning.

The Toppers tied it up in the top of the sixth on a two-RBI single by senior third baseman Casey Dykes.

Austin Peay answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the sixth to reestablish its lead at 8-6 just before WKU exploded for six runs in the seventh inning.

After WKU took a 12-8 lead, junior right-hander Taylor Haydel came on for the Toppers and closed out the game allowing no runs on two hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.

The Toppers will be back in action this weekend as they get back to Sun Belt Conference play. WKU takes on Florida International beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday at Nick Denes Field.