Hilltoppers Fall in Series Opener 5-3


Joshua Lindsey/Daily News

The Western Kentucky Hilltopper baseball road woes continue, as they blow a 3-1 lead and lose the first game of a weekend series with UT-Arlington 5-3. The Hilltoppers and Mavericks came into the weekend series tied for fourth place in the Sun Belt baseball standings.

The Mavs got on the board first, scoring off of a Ryan Bottger solo home run into right field off of WKU starter Justin HagemanAfter that shot, though, Hageman would settle down, allowing only one run after that through seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out four putting himself, and WKU, in a great position to win the ballgame.

The Tops first got on the board in the top of the 4th, when David Simmons singled home Cody Woffordand Ryan Messex bringing Simmons home on a sac fly. The Hilltoppers would add a huge insurance run in the top of the 5th, when Wofford would sac fly Regan Flaherty home and take a 3-1 lead.

The Mavericks would get a run back in the bottom half of the 5th, as Bottger would hit home another run, and the Mavs would take the lead for good in the bottom of the 8th, when UTA catcher Greg McCall doubled home two runs, giving Arlington a 4-3 advantage that they’d never relinquish.

The Hilltoppers have won three straight conference series, and are looking to continue that in the latter two games of this weekend set, as well as provide distance between themselves and UTA in the standings. Coming into the series, UTA had the 3rd-lowest team ERA in the Sun Belt, and WKU couldn’t take advantage of it last night.

Today, Matt Myers will throw out Josh Bartley (5-3, 4.04 ERA) to oppose Brad Vachon (3-5, 5.93) and put WKU back to their winning ways.