WKU falls to No. 10 Louisville for 10th consecutive loss


Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Batusich (9) dives to get back on second base during their game against the Belmont Bruins at Nick Denes Field on April 5th.

Camden Bush, Baseball Reporter

WKU Baseball’s upset bid went up in flames after a disastrous eighth inning Tuesday night in a 11-4 loss to the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals.

The Hilltoppers jumped out to a big lead Tuesday night but failed to maintain it. The WKU bats got off to a hot start but cooled down. The pitching did the same with a strong start but a rough finish.

The loss brings WKU’s record to 13-27 on the season and 4-14 in conference play. The Hilltoppers have now lost 10 straight games. Louisville sits at 28-12 on the year. 

WKU sophomore Luke Stofel put together a solid start, going five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. Louisville used an array of pitchers on the day. Senior Luke Seed went only 2.2 innings and allowed three runs on three hits while striking out six.

The Hilltoppers’ offense only managed five hits on the day. Sophomore Andrew Delaney led the club with two hits and two RBIs. Louisville’s offense exploded for 15 hits. Senior Cameron Masterman led the way with three hits, including a big three-run home run.

Seed made quick work of the Hilltoppers in the top of the first, recording a 1-2-3 inning and striking out two. Stofel returned the favor in the bottom of the first and retired the Cardinals in order. 

The Hilltoppers loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second but failed to score. Stofel retired Louisville in order again in the bottom of the second, striking out two.

WKU took a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The Hilltoppers led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, one of those being an RBI double from junior Tristin Garcia. Later in the inning, Delaney knocked in two more with an RBI double before sophomore Aidan Gilroy followed with an RBI single. 

Louisville led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles. After a groundout advanced the runners, the Cardinals made it 4-2 on an RBI groundout followed by an RBI single by senior Ben Metzinger.

The Hilltoppers failed to put anyone on base in the top of the fourth. Stofel managed to keep the Cardinals from cutting the deficit in the bottom of the fourth despite two singles. 

WKU went down in order for the second straight inning in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Jack Payton made it a 4-3 game with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth after a walk and a single

Gilroy drew a two-out walk in the top of the sixth, but the Hilltoppers failed to get anything else going. Senior Ben Bianco followed a one-out double with an RBI single to make it 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth.

The Hilltoppers failed to regain the lead in the top of the seventh. Senior Levi Usher gave Louisville its first lead of the day with a solo homer to make it 5-4. 

Freshman Ty Batusich drew a lead off walk in the top of the eighth to no avail. The Cardinals offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 11-4. Metzinger and Payton both plated runs with an RBI double and a two-run RBI single. Later in the inning, Masterman put the game out of reach with a three-run homer.

The Hilltoppers failed to get anything going in the top of the ninth with Louisville claiming an 11-4 victory.

Up next, the Hilltoppers will head to Houston, where they will face Rice in a three-game series. The series will begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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