WKU announces U of L game, SBC Tourney will be played at B.G. Ballpark

Kurt Carson

WKU and the Bowling Green Hot Rods announced on Friday that the Bowling Green Ballpark will once again host Topper baseball this season.

The Hot Rods will be hosting WKU’s regular season matchup with Louisville on May 1 and the Sun Belt Conference Tournament from May 23-27 at Bowling Green Ballpark.

This will be the third consecutive year Bowling Green Ballpark has hosted a WKU baseball game.

Athletics Director Ross Bjork said he’s excited to once again have the opportunity to partner with the Hot Rods, the Class A Midwest League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Our vision for this baseball program is that we want to be a big-time baseball program,” Bjork said. “Hosting single-game events with Louisville and Kentucky [in the past] is part of that plan but also when we got the chance to host the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, we want to host it in the best venue possible.

“We love our ballpark here but we also know Bowling Green Ballpark is a great setting for fans, for visiting teams to come into a big-time atmosphere.”

Bowling Green Ballpark has a seating capacity of 4,559 and has been open since 2009.

Hot Rods President Brad Taylor said the continued partnership also sharpens the vision that his program has focused on.

“Our vision was very clear from the first year — to be part of the community and I think this is a great community event with a great partner we’ve had since we came into Bowling Green with Western Kentucky University,” Taylor said. “I think this only deepens and strengthens our relationship with them.”

Over the last two seasons WKU has played three games at Bowling Green Ballpark, posting a 3-0 record while scoring a total of 50 runs. Those games include two against Kentucky and one against Louisville.

That kind of success is what has Head Coach Matt Myers excited to return for a couple of events this season.

“With the way we’ve played in the three previous games I can guarantee the excitement and momentum our guys will have playing there,” Myers said. “When you play in a facility as nice as that, you know, it brings the best out in kids.

“Our guys are going to love the opportunity to play in such a beautiful park in front of all their fans.”

WKU has seen great turnouts in past years at Bowling Green Ballpark, drawing 5,142 to watch them play the Wildcats last year which was the largest attendance to see a college baseball game in the state of Kentucky in 2011.

This year will be the first time since 2008 that WKU has hosted the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and the first time ever to have the opportunity to host it at Bowling Green Ballpark.

“To play in a ballpark as beautiful as the one downtown is, our guys are going to be very excited for that opportunity and for our community to come out and support us to get us to a NCAA regional,” Myers said.