Hageman gets roughed up as WKU falls 11-3 to Troy

Brad Stephens

Justin Hageman finally looked like what he is – a freshman – Saturday against Troy.

The right-hander came into the day with a 6-3 record and a 2.44 ERA in his first season at WKU, both totals putting him in the top 10 among Sun Belt Conference pitchers.

But on Saturday, the Hopkinsville High School alum took the loss after giving up eight runs — seven of which were earned — and eight hits over five innings as the Toppers fell to the Trojans 11-3 in front of 1,168 at Riddle-Pace Field.

With the loss, WKU (25-15, 10-7 Sun Belt) now trails Troy (29-10, 13-4) by three games in the league race.

Hageman’s night didn’t start poorly, as he gave up a single unearned run over the game’s first two innings.

But things unraveled for Hageman in the third when Troy struck for six runs, taking a 7-0 lead.

Trojan right fielder Drew Prichard and first baseman Logan Pierce both hit two-run home runs in an inning in which Troy batted around, collecting six hits.

Hageman gave up his third home run of the day in the fourth inning, a solo shot from third baseman Tyler Hannah.

While Hageman struggled, Troy starter Austin Score kept the Topper lineup quiet, giving up just one run and five hits over seven innings.

WKU’s only run off Score came from a Ryan Hutchison single in the sixth inning.

The Toppers’ junior right fielder collected another RBI on an eight-inning sacrifice fly.

Sophomore first baseman Ryan Huck also collected an RBI in the inning, cutting the Troy lead to 9-3.

But the Trojans scored two in the bottom of the eighth to push the lead back to its final margin of 11-3.

WKU Head Coach Chris Finwood will send senior right-hander Brian Edelen (3-1, 4.23 ERA) to the mound for the Toppers Sunday as they look to avoid being swept for the first time in 2011 Sun Belt play.

He will oppose Troy left-hander Jimmy Hodgskin (2-3, 3.50 ERA).

WKU will be looking to pick up just its second Sunday conference win in six attempts this season.

First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Riddle-Pace Field.