WKU scores 25 runs, but still splits Saturday doubleheader

Brad Stephens

The Topper bats were at full strength Saturday.

But unfortunately for WKU, pitching couldn’t seal a doubleheader sweep.

The Toppers (6-5) fell to No. 25 Auburn Saturday night, 13-8, after drilling New York Tech, 17-1, earlier in the day.

WKU battled from an 8-3 deficit to tie Auburn in the fifth inning, but the Tigers (9-3) came back in the top of the sixth inning with four runs off junior reliever Phil Wetherell to take a 12-8 lead.

WKU was then shut out over the last four innings.

Wetherell pitched three innings, giving up five runs and six hits, and took his first loss of the season.

But he wasn’t the only Topper pitcher with a day to forget.

just 3 and 1/3 innings while giving up seven runs and nine hits.

The 13 runs scored by Auburn was the highest single-game total given up by WKU pitching since a 17-6 loss to Vanderbilt on March 17, 2010.

Offensively, senior designated hitter Chris Bullard led the Toppers with his first three RBIs of the year.

Meanwhile, freshman Jordan Cessna, who replaced Ryan Huck at first base, picked up his first career RBI in the fifth inning.

Topper juniors Ivan Hartle, Kes Carter, and Casey Dykes also drove in runs during the nightcap.

Junior shortstop Logan Robbins was lifted from the lineup in the second inning after fouling a ball off his ankle.

WKU Head Coach Chris Finwood was not made available after the game to comment on Robbins’ condition.

The coaching staff and players declined comment to the Herald on both Friday and Saturday.

In the opener against New York Tech, WKU was led offensively by junior left fielder Jared Andreoli, who went 4-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored.

The Toppers also received multiple RBIs from Carter, Huck, and senior catcher Matt Rice.

Freshman right-hander Justin Hageman earned his second career victory after pitching seven innings of one-hit baseball, giving up just one run.

Hageman’s performance drove down his ERA to an impressive 2.40 through three starts.

The 25 total runs scored was the most WKU scored in a doubleheader since scoring 34 total runs in two games against Albany on Feb. 27, 2009.

WKU will finish its 10-game road trip in Oxford, Miss., Tuesday and Wednesday nights with two games against Ole Miss.

It will be a chance for the Toppers to give payback to a Rebels team that ended WKU’s season in the 2009 NCAA Regionals.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with senior right-hander Brian Edelen expected to make the start for WKU.