WKU can’t overcome Carter error, falls 6-3 to Troy

Brad Stephens

Tanner Perkins was his dominant self Friday night against Troy.

WKU’s sophomore left-handed ace pitched seven innings, giving up just one earned run, striking out six batters and retiring 15-of-16 at one point.

But Perkins’ performance was nullified by a seventh-inning error from Topper center fielder Kes Carter that paved the way for a five-run Trojan inning.

Troy (28-10, 12-4 Sun Belt Conference) went on to win 6-3 in front of 1,239 fans at Riddle-Pace Field, giving the Trojans a two-game lead over WKU (25-14, 10-6 Sun Belt) in league standings.

The Toppers struck first for a run in the first inning after senior catcher Matt Rice scored junior left fielder Jared Andreoli on an RBI groundout.

It was the 209th career RBI for Rice, breaking a WKU school record held by Mike Williams (1978-81).

The Toppers moved their lead to 2-0 in the second inning thanks to a solo shot over the left-field wall from sophomore first Ryan Huck, his third home run of the season.

Troy didn’t reach Perkins until the fifth inning, when designated hitter Josh McDorman hit a leadoff home run to cut the lead to 2-1.

WKU’s lead remained at one with two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Troy right-fielder Boone Shear at bat.

Shear hit a ball to center that Carter couldn’t make a play on, allowing both Trojan runners to score.

From there, Perkins gave up RBI singles to center fielder Ali Knowles and third baseman Tyler Hannah and a bases-loaded walk to first baseman Logan Pierce.

WKU chipped a run from the lead with an eighth-inning, two-out RBI single from pinch hitter Scott Wilcox, cutting the deficit to 6-3.

But Troy starter Tyler Ray didn’t allow another baserunner after that, sealing a complete game and earning his Sun Belt-high ninth win of the year.

Perkins took just his second loss of the year against six victories.

The Toppers will try to even the three-game set tomorrow at 6 p.m.

WKU Head Coach Chris Finwood will send freshman right-hander Justin Hageman (6-3, 2.44 ERA) to the mound.