WKU baseball splits series with #13 Mississippi State

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WKU baseball’s late game rally almost proved enough to get the win in Starkville, but in the first of a two game series against the #13 team in the land, the Hilltoppers fell to Mississippi State 6-5 in 10 innings.

After a slow start, the game opened up in the fourth inning when Mississippi State put four runs on the board off of a 2-run home run from Reid Humphreys and RBI singles from Ryan Gridley and Brent Rooker.

The Tops were able to respond in the 5th, when Danny Hudzina put the Tops in the scoring column with a blast over the left field wall. Outfielder Paul Murray was able to follow that up with a RBI double that drove in freshman Kaleb Duckworth to make it a 4-2 game after five innings.

The game would remain 4-2 until Western Kentucky would start the rally in the eighth inning. The Tops were able to load the bases with just one out were able to get one run in off of an errant pick-off throw bringing WKU back within one run making the score 4-3. The Hilltoppers weren’t able to capitalize on the rest of the inning leaving runners stranded on second and third.

Going into the final frame WKU still had some fight. Hudzina and Duckworth belted back-to-back jacks giving the Tops a one run advantage at 5-4. But, WKU failed to drive in some insurance runs later in the inning with the bases loaded.

Mississippi State responded in the bottom half. Bulldog shortstop Seth Heck led it off with a single off of Topper closer Ben Morrison and was move to second with a sacrifice bunt. After back-to-back wild pitches from Morrison, Heck was able to score knotting up the game at 5-5. This would mean extras.

When WKU wasn’t able to put any runs up in the top half of the 10th inning Mississippi State would have a chance to win it.

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The Bulldogs were able to get a baserunner with only one out in the inning. After a ground ball moved the runner to second Mississippi State was able to capitalize. A line drive to center field from John Holland was able to bring home the game-winning run giving Mississippi State the 6-5 win.

Even though it was a heart breaker, the Hilltopper’s still had some standout performances. Danny Hudzina went 2-for-5 with two solo home runs. Starter Ryan Thurston went 6.1 innings only giving up four earned runs. Thurston was able to keep composure and help WKU stay in a good position to come back after the rough 4th inning.

After another late inning loss, we all waited to see how the Tops would bounce back for game two of the midweek set.

Next: And Bounce Back They Did