Bellarmine hands WKU baseball their second loss of the season

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Marshall Canupp

Hilltopper Baseball’s Ty Crittenberger (22) takes a cut at the ball from the Louisville Cardinal’s pitcher during their match up with the University of Louisville Cardinals on March 29th at Nick Denes Field.

Jake McMahon

WKU baseball (7-2) lost their second straight game of the season against the Bellarmine Knights (5-2) 9-7, Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Nick Denes Field. 

The Hilltopers were unable to get the job done against the Knights due to a lack of crucial situational hitting. WKU left 14 men on base which is the most the Hilltoppers have left on all season. 

Bellarmine took control of the game early. The Knights got four runs across in the first inning following a three-run home run and an RBI double. 

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WKU countered in the bottom frame. A sac fly from sophomore Ty Batusich and an RBI single from graduate Kirk Liebert cut the Hilltopper deficit, 4-2.

Bellarmine put a man on in the second but couldn’t add to their lead. WKU had a man on first and second in their half of the inning, but they were left stranded.

Bellarmine widened their lead in the third as an RBI single and a Hilltopper error put WKU in a 6-2 hole. The Hilltoppers were unable to get a run across in the bottom half of the third.

In the fourth, Bellarmine continued to pile it on WKU. An E4 brought another Knight run across making it 7-2. WKU took a small chunk out of their deficit in the bottom of the inning as an RBI single from senior Matthew Mayer made it 7-3. 

Bellarmine got a man on in the fifth with a two out walk, but couldn’t move him. WKU had senior Tristin Garcia in scoring position with no outs however he was left standing on second. 

Bellarmine had a man on third in the sixth, yet they couldn’t add to their lead. WKU left two men on in the bottom of the sixth to keep the score at 7-3. 

Bellarmine drove in another run in the seventh with an RBI single putting the Knights up 8-3. 

WKU began their late comeback effort in the bottom of the seventh. Batusich notched his second RBI of the game with a single. Junior Aidan Gilroy drove in Batusich later in the frame with a sac fly. The Hilltoppers loaded the bases and walked in Liebert for the third and final run of the inning, 8-6. 

Bellarmine threatened to strike again in the eighth with a leadoff hit, however WKU kept the deficit at two. WKU looked to tie the ball game with men on second and third with two outs, but Bellarmine got out of the jam with a strikeout. 

Bellarmine made it 9-6 in the top of the ninth with an RBI walk. WKU had the bases juiced with  no outs in the bottom of the ninth, however the Hilltoppers only brought one man across to score. 

WKU lost to Bellarmine 9-7. 

WKU will look to get back on track in their four game series against the Northern Illinois Huskies March 3-5 at Nick Denes Field.

 

Sports reporter Jake McMahon can be reached at [email protected] .