Cats’ big inning does in WKU

Kurt Carson

The Toppers were right in the mix of things with the No. 2 team in the country on Tuesday up until the sixth inning.

But with a 3-2 advantage, Kentucky used a four-run inning to stretch its lead and put WKU just beyond striking distance.

WKU (10-15) couldn’t manage to mount a comeback as it fell to UK (25-1) by a score of 7-4 at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington.

The Toppers trailed just 3-2 through the first five frames.

But in the bottom of the sixth inning WKU junior right-hander Colton Satterlee allowed the first two batters to reach base on a hit-by-pitch and a walk.

Freshman right-hander Tate Glasscock came on to relieve Satterlee and looked to clean up the inning.

But shortstop Matt Reida singled on a bunt and a run scored on an error by Glasscock to make it a 4-2 UK advantage.

The Wildcats weren’t done as center fielder Austin Cousino cranked the first pitch out of the ballpark for a three-run home run that stretched UK’s lead to 7-2.

The Toppers appeared to have some fight left in them when they made an effort at a comeback in the top of the eighth inning.

Myers said “fight” shouldn’t come as a surprise with this team.

”We’re never going to stop fighting,” Myers told WKU’s Big Red Radio Network. “We’re never going to back down from a fight, I’ll tell you that right now.”

Senior second baseman Ivan Hartle led off with a single and senior center fielder Jared Andreoli walked to put runners on first and second base for WKU with no outs.

Hartle, senior third baseman Casey Dykes and junior shortstop Steve Hodgins led WKU offensively with two hits apiece.

Hartle came around to score on an error and Andreoli scored on an RBI single by sophomore first baseman Scott Wilcox to cut UK’s lead to 7-4 with one out.

However, the Toppers couldn’t manage to plate any more runs in the inning.

WKU also got two runners on base and brought the potential tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth inning but both Andreoli and senior right fielder Ryan Hutchison struck out to end the threat and the game.

Myers said they had their opportunities to change the outcome of the game.

“We had our seniors up to the plate at the right time,” Myers said. “We had some big strikeouts on the offensive side that we just can’t have. We’ve got to move the baseball.”

The Toppers got off to a hot start on Tuesday by scoring two runs before UK even stepped to the plate.

With Hartle on first base, Hutchison sent a 1-2 pitch over the left-center field wall to take an early 2-0 lead over the Wildcats.

UK cut in to that lead in the bottom of the second inning off WKU starting sophomore left-hander Austin Clay on an RBI single by catcher Michael Williams that made it 2-1.

Clay finished his day with 3 2/3 innings pitch while allowing three earned runs on six hits.

Dykes led off the fourth inning with a double but the Toppers were unable to drive him in to extend their lead.

The Wildcats took full advantage of the missed opportunity by taking a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-RBI single by Williams.

Williams finished the game with three RBIs, tied with Cousino, who did his damage in the bottom of the sixth inning that put the game out of reach.

The Toppers will be back in action this weekend as they resume Sun Belt play against Arkansas-Little Rock beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday. Sophomore right-hander Justin Hageman will get the start for WKU.