Post Game: Tops 13 – UNC Ashville 2


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I’m trying to think of a curling joke (because, you know, it’s a sweep), but nothing comes to mind.

By any means, WKU (5-2) got the job done today, big time, by sweeping their 3-game set against UNC-Ashville (1-3), taking the final game by a 13-2 score. The Hilltoppers would put at least one run on the board in every offensive inning, with the exception of the 2nd and 3rd, and was greatly helped by not only a 5-run 5th, but a 4-run 6th (oddly enough, the only 2 innings in which the Tops scored multiple runs).

Jake Thompson threw five great innings of ball, only allowing a single run and limiting the damage wonderfully on the seven hits he gave up (although, three Bulldogs were caught stealing, which always helps).

Offensively, WKU was clicking on all cylinders. Ryan Church and Trevor Lowe both went deep for WKU, while Church also lead the way with four RBI. Pinch-hitter Paul Murray (2) and starting catcher Ty Downing (3) also had multiple RBI for WKU, and in total, seven Toppers drove in at least one run.

Bulldogs’ starter Dean Roland started off well, but the Tops figured him out in the third go-around of the order. Roland, who did have to be visited by a trainer before he exited the game, only went 4.2 innings, giving up 10 hits and 6 earned runs (7 total), but did strikeout five, something the UNCA pitching staff hadn’t been able to do much of in either of the first two games.

The Bulldogs went yard for one of their runs, off the bat of Robert McIntosh in the fourth inning to tie the game (McIntosh’s first HR and RBI of the young year), and played small ball for a run in the 6th, but that’d be all she wrote.

As impressive as this series was for WKU, I’m not sure how much we really know about this squad yet. UNC-Ashville wasn’t a very good team a year ago, and only won 4 road games all year in 2013.
What is clear is that when the coaching staff says something, it’s true – they believe they have great pitching and a deep lineup, and both of those things were on display this weekend.
Not only that, but there is more power in this lineup than in recent memory (even with the absence of Ryan Huck), and it’ll certainly be put to the test on Tuesday.

Tuesday, WKU will head back to Nasvhille, only this time, they will face the Commodores of Vanderbilt, which hopefully, wont be as ugly as a contest as it appears to be on paper.

What matters for now, though, is that the Tops are off to a great start, and have reasons to celebrate.

Stand up and cheers.