Hilltoppers drop series at FIU, host Marshall

WKU infielder Jack Wilson (9) hits the ball during the game against the Charlotte 49ers at Nick Denes Field on March 27, 2021. WKU lost 6-0.

Wyatt Sparkman

The WKU baseball program (12-16) (2-6, C-USA) lost its first Conference USA road series 3-1 against the FIU Panthers (12-14) (4-4, C-USA) over the weekend.

WKU currently holds a three-game losing streak following its series against the Panthers. After WKU won game one 9-2 Thursday, it lost the next three games by a combined score of 15-3.

“We’ll have to clean a lot of stuff up,” head coach John Pawlowski said in a press release. “We’re not the club that we want to be at this point. This is not where we want to be or where we had envisioned.”

Pawlowski told his team they have to understand that they have to make changes, everybody does. They’ve got to be willing to accept where we are and learn from it and move forward.

The Hilltoppers lost its second consecutive series 3-1. The first 3-1 series loss came against Charlotte from March 26-28 to open C-USA play.

The Panthers mustered 26 hits against the Hilltoppers while WKU fell victim to being struck out 31 times at the plate.

Junior Justin Carlin was a versatile batter for WKU over the weekend. Carlin slashed for .333 while smacking his first homerun as a Hilltopper in game three.

Redshirt sophomore Jake Kates pitched seven innings in game one against FIU allowing one run while picking up seven strikeouts. Kates is now 2-1 this season in seven appearances on the mound.

Now WKU kicks off an eight game home stretch starting Friday at 5 p.m. against the Marshall Thundering Herd (4-15), (0-8, C-USA) at Nick Denes Field.

Marshall is coming off being swept in four straight games against Old Dominion by a combined score of 43-15. Marshall rides into Bowling Green on an eight-game losing streak.

Sophomore Luke Edwards leads the Thundering Herd with a .333 batting average while garnering 23 hits this spring. Edwards also leads Marshall with 14 RBIs.

Junior Raymond Pacella currently paces all Marshall pitchers with 35 strikeouts and 27.2 innings pitched.

The left-handed pitcher played in game three against ODU this past weekend and tossed for six innings while allowing eight hits and six runs. He added seven strikeouts to his credit in the 8-0 loss.

WKU’s series against Marshall will take place April 9-11. Then the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (15-11-1) (4-2-1, C-USA) come to the Hill to play April 16-18 to close out the homestand.

Baseball beat reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected] Follow Wyatt on Twitter at @WyattSparkman3.