WKU Takes Conference Series From South Alabama


The Hilltoppers took two out of three games from South Alabama, and remain even keeled in Sun Belt Conference play, staying at the .500 mark and moving to 9-9.

Friday: WKU 10 – South Alabama 13
The Tops and Jags got things off to a wild start on Friday night, as the two teams combined for 23 runs, 30 hits and nine errors in a game that the Jaguars would eventually take. Justin Hageman, who came into the game on a four-game Friday win streak, wouldn’t get tagged with the loss (that would go to Sam Higgs), and Hageman would through six innings, allow six hits and four runs (three of them earned), walking three and striking out five. Offensively, Ryan Church and Regan Flaherty lead the way, with Church going 3-for-5, plating three runs, scoring two himself, drawing a walk in the process, while Flaherty went 3-for-6, plating two runs and scoring one himself. When all was said and done, 10 South Al runs were scored from the 7th to 9th innings, and the Tops would fall short even with scoring four times in the 9th.

Saturday: WKU 7 – South Al 2
After a bit of a down stretch from Josh Bartley (although, it’s hard for him to continue beating top 5 team after top 5 team), he threw a complete gem in the middle of the series, going eight innings of two run ball (again, only one of them being earned), issuing two free passes and sending four batters down on strikes. The wonderful performance was preserved by Ian Tompkinswho threw a shut down 9th to seal the WKU victory. The game as nearly single-handedly won by Hunter Wood, who crushed a pinch hit grand slam for insurance following a Philip Diedrick two run go-ahead single.

Sunday: WKU 6 – South Al 3
Matt Myers and his squad clinched the series victory in yesterday’s final game of the weekend, as Jake Thompson went 6.1 innings of five hit, three run ball to garner his third win of 2014. The Tops scored first for the first time all year, and the two teams see-sawed scoring, but two innings of crooked numbers – the 6th and 7th – for WKU helped them edge South Al out, and for the second game in a row, Tompkins came in to seal the deal, and this time, was credited with a save (his 10th of the year). Ryan Church really stepped it up this series, and it appears the mohawk is working, as he went 2-for-3, and scored two of the three times (he also reached on a walk) he found himself on base. Cody Wofford was the lone Topper to record multiple RBI, after doubling into left-center in the seventh.

The Tops now find themselves in a tie for fourth place with UT-Arlington, who also are at 9-9 in conference play.

WKU will face Louisville for the second time this season tomorrow in L-Town (do they call it that?) before welcoming cellar dwelling UALR over the weekend at the Nick.