WKU Baseball blown out by MTSU for eighth consecutive loss


Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Crittenberger (22) rounds the corner at second base after his hit to make a triple play during their match up with the University of Louisville Cardinals on March 29th at Nick Denes Field.

Camden Bush, Baseball Reporter

WKU was bested in a blowout loss against MTSU 10-2 in game one of a three-game set Friday night.

The Hilltoppers followed their recent theme of getting off to a slow start and not overcoming a big deficit. The WKU bats failed to string together hits as the team did not muster much offensively.

The loss for WKU comes as the team’s eighth straight loss. The Hilltoppers are now 9-16 overall on the year and 1-6 within conference play.

WKU redshirt junior Jake Kates went only three innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. MTSU senior Zach Keenan dominated the Hilltoppers going seven innings, allowing no runs while striking out five Hilltoppers.

Freshman Brett Blomquist and junior Tristin Garcia led a Hilltoppers offense that didn’t get much going with two hits each. MTSU tallied 15 hits by ten different batters on the night. Senior Brycen Thomas recorded three hits for the Blue Raiders while senior Nathan Sanders batted in five runs.

Keenan retired the Hilltoppers in order in the top of the first to start the game. MTSU failed to score in the bottom of the first despite two singles. 

The Hilltoppers went down in order in the top of the second as Keenan struck out two. Kates allowed two runs in the bottom of the second. Thomas followed a single with a two-run home run, making it 2-0.

Blomquist singled for WKU’s first hit of the day in the top of the third, but the Hilltoppers failed to score in the inning. The Blue Raiders picked up five more runs in the third, extending their lead to 7-0. MTSU recorded six hits in the inning highlighted by a two-run homer by sophomore Jackson Galloway and a three-run shot by Sanders.

Sophomore Aidan Gilroy led off the fourth with a single, but the Hilltoppers had the same story in the inning, scoring no runs. Redshirt sophomore Bill Duby entered the game for WKU in the bottom of the fourth and retired the Blue Raiders in order.

Keenan retired the Hilltoppers in order again in the fifth, striking out two. The Blue Raiders started the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back hits before Sanders and senior Brian Dillingham knocked in runs on fielder’s choices to give MTSU a 9-0 advantage.

The Hilltoppers led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back singles but did not manage anything else in the inning. MTSU picked up a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth but failed to score in the inning.

Graduate Brian McAuliffe singled in the top of the seventh, but the Hilltoppers once again failed to plate a runner on base. MTSU led off the bottom of the seventh with a double followed by an RBI single by Sanders to make it 10-0. Two straight batters walked with one out in the inning before Blue Raiders failed to add any more runs in the seventh.

The Hilltoppers loaded the bases in the top of the eighth on a walk, a hit by pitch and a single. Sophomore Andrew Delaney cut the deficit 10-2 with a two-out, two-run RBI double later in the inning. MTSU put two men on base in the bottom of the eighth but failed to score in the inning.

The Hilltoppers failed to score in the ninth to give MTSU a 10-2 victory.

Up next, WKU will face MTSU again Saturday in game two of the three-game series, beginning at 3 p.m. in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Baseball Reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected]