WKU baseball can’t hold on to lead in 10-6 loss to Vanderbilt


It looked good in the opening half of the game, but if you have flaws, a good (or great) team will find a way to expose them. That was the case in Nashville, where WKU baseball nearly walked away with the season’s first major upset, but the bullpen struck again and sent the baseball Toppers to their fourth consecutive loss, this time at 10-6.

It started well for WKU. The Tops scored six runs in the first four innings, thanks to a two RBI single from Danny Hudzina, an RBI ground-rule double from Ryan Church, a two-run infield single from Philip Diedrick and a solo home run from Anderson Miller.

Things were going well for Tops’ starter Ryan Thurston as well, who went five full innings and allowed just three hits, but was credited with four runs (although, two of those came across while Thurston wasn’t on the mound). Conversely, things didn’t go so well for Ryan Johnson, Vandy’s starter, as he went the same distance, but allowed seven hits, along with the six runs (just three earned) and struck out only three.

Then it became a battle of the bullpens.

The #1 ‘Dores pen was lights out – four different guys throwing one inning each, and allowing just four total batters – three walks and a hit batsmen – to give their offense an opportunity to stay in the game.

For the Red Towels, the bullpen woes of 2014 crept out, as five pitchers combined to go the same number of innings, but had opposite results – six hits, six runs and five walks.

The most crushing blow to WKU came in the seventh inning, when Brennan Pearson loaded the bases and Tate Glasscock hung a slider over the plate that Vandy’s Zander Wiel had no problem handling, sending it off the scoreboard for a grand salami, and the ‘Dores wouldn’t look back.

The first through fifth innings were spectacular for the Tops – they had energy, they were playing a combination of small ball and getting balls in the outfield, and there was a confidence about them that they really haven’t had this year. Much of that was probably due to Thurston’s performance, which was stellar, but once again, the bullpen couldn’t hold them off, and the Tops couldn’t knock off #1. But they gave them quite the scare, which is kind of the same thing.