WKU Baseball defeats Belmont University for fourth straight win


Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Batusich (9) stares down the Louisville Cardinal’s pitcher as he steps off of second base for an attempt at a steal during their match up with the University of Louisville Cardinals on March 29th at Nick Denes Field.

Camden Bush

WKU Baseball came out on top of a back-and-forth battle against Belmont University with a score of 9-7, Tuesday, Feb. 21 . 

The Bruins hosted the Hilltoppers in Nashville, Tennessee. The game was a thriller, similar to when the Hilltoppers visited the Bruins last season. The Hilltoppers were able to get revenge after a heartbreaking loss last season in which the team gave up a 4-run ninth inning lead to lose 8-7.

Graduate Drew Reckart led a very effective Hilltopper offense against Belmont. Reckart went 3-3 in the afternoon, with a homerun and four RBIs. Redshirt junior Ty Crittenberger also had a big day for WKU as he tallied three hits and came around to score twice. 

Freshman Dawson Hall picked up the win for WKU in relief. Hall pitched 2.2 innings, allowed only one hit and struck out four. 

Belmont began the game by retiring the Hilltoppers in order in the top of the first. The Bruins then put one man on base in the bottom of the first via a walk, but failed to score.

The Hilltoppers offense came alive in the top of the second as Reckart followed a single and a walk with a three-run homer, giving WKU a 3-0 lead. Belmont’s offense failed to respond in the bottom of the inning, despite a single and a stolen base.

WKU began the top of the third with a leadoff walk, but could not get anything else going in the inning. 

The Bruins responded to the WKU home run with three runs of their own. The first run came on an RBI double down the left field line. The following runs then came on an RBI single and an RBI fielder’s choice to tie it 3-3.

The Hilltoppers followed with two doubles to leadoff the top of the fourth, putting men on second and third. Reckart knocked in another run with a sac fly and junior Aidan Gilroy followed with an RBI single to give WKU a 5-3 lead. 

Belmont put on one man again in the bottom of the fourth, but failed to cut into the deficit. 

WKU proceeded to put two men on in the top of the fifth, but lacked a scoring play. Belmont responded with a two-RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game back up 5-5. 

Scoring came to a stand still in the sixth as the Hilltoppers stranded two men on base and the Bruins went down in order.

Freshman Camden Ross gave the Hilltoppers the lead back in the top of the seventh with a two-out RBI double, making it 6-5. The Bruins went down in order in the bottom of the seventh for the second straight inning. 

The first two batters WKU sent to the plate in the top of the eighth reached. Freshman Ty Batusich proceeded to knock them both in later in the inning with a two-RBI single, giving WKU an 8-5 lead. 

Belmont responded with a big bottom of the eighth to get back in the game. The first five batters of the inning for the Bruins reached base, two of the five scored on an RBI single and a walk. 

However, the Bruins failed to add to the lead despite having the bases loaded with no outs. WKU ended the inning with a strikeout followed by a double play, keeping the score 8-7.

The Hilltoppers loaded the bases in the top of the ninth and added a run with a walk to make it 9-7. 

The Bruins then failed to score in the ninth and the Hilltoppers claimed a 9-7 victory. 

The Hilltoppers will return home this weekend for a four-game series against Ohio University Feb. 24-26. 


Sports reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected] .