Hilltoppers Sweep Midweek Slate


Joshua Lindsey/Daily News

Overall, the Tops haven’t been the best at middle of the week match-ups this season, but don’t tell Matt Myers and Company. The Hilltoppers finished out their non-conference schedule on the upswing, and the bats came alive in a big way.

Tuesday night the boys in red made the drive down to Clarksville, Tennessee to take on the Governors of Austin Peay. WKU would lean on Freshman Ryan Thurston to spearhead the defense atop the mound. After giving up two runs in the bottom of the first, Thurston and the Hilltopper offense would get things going. In the top of the second the Tops would capitalize on hot bats as they knocked in five runs, and never looking back. Thurston stood strong and wouldn’t relinquish another run for five more innings. Then things got interesting.

Ryan Church knocked a rocket to the left center wall to bring Regan Flaherty across home plate notching the score 6-2 in the top of the 7th. The Governors down four, needed to make a comeback, and took advantage of a tiring Thurston to bring in two more runs at the bottom of the 7th.

After the Governors etched one more un in the 8th, Matt Myers called closer Ian Thomkins in for the final 4 outs of the game. Thomkins would seal the deal with a Tops victory of 6-5, while also throwing inning ending strikeouts in both the 8th and 9th innings, as he picked up his 12th save on the season, breaking a WKU regular season record. Thompkins also sits at 6th in the nation with the number of saves for the 2014 regular season.

Other notables on the evening include Thurston who picked up his first career win in four starts while also tossing six K’s. Regan Flaherty also marked his name on the stat sheet with 5 at bats, 2 runs off of 3 hits, and one RBI. With the win, the Tops are 8-5 on the seasons when games have been decided by one run.

The Hilltoppers returned home last night as they played host to the Belmont Bruins at the Nick.

The Bruins crossed the plate first as they brought home a single run in the first, however they would be outdone by  the Hilltoppers in the bottom of the same inning. WKU brought in two runs, and continued the heavy hitting the entire contest proving to be relentless on the the Nashville squad. The Hilltoppers would only have two innings played that they wouldn’t have at least one player cross the plate. The most runs scored would come in the 5th, and fitting enough, the runs totaled up to 5.

After losing his weekend starting slot to Josh Bartley, Austin Clay would pitch through 6 innings, and would send 5 batters walking back to the dugout, while also allowing 2 runs off of 6 hits. The win for Clay improved him to 5-2 on the season, and gave him his 3rd quality start of the season.

The main offensive performers would include Flaherty, again, as he had one run off of 3 hits, and added 2 RBIs. Anderson Miller also had 2 runs on 2 hits, and add an RBI of his own. At the end of the day the Tops would reach a total of 19 hits, and closed out the Bruins with a final score of 13 to 3.

The Hilltoppers will head to Louisiana-Monroe friday for a weekend series against the Warhawks. But for now, we are celebrating two mid-week victories, so as always, Go Tops!