WKU baseball: Hilltoppers welcome UAB to Nick Denes Field


Revenge is sweet, now matter how you can get it. Two baseball seasons ago, the Hilltoppers were able to extract revenge out of the Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl loss against Central Michigan, taking two of the three games played at Nick Denes Field. Well, Matt Myers and his WKU baseball squad are tasked with a similar circumstance tonight, as the baseball Tops can dish out some revenge after the heartbreak in Birmingham that ended the Hilltoppers hoops season, as the Blazer baseball squad comes to town.

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The Tops have won the first two Conference USA series they’ve played, taking two out of three games against both Old Dominion and UTSA. The Tops are also coming into this weekend set with a


confidence boost, after demolishing the Wildcats from that


school with “Kentucky,” in their name in a 12-3 win on Tuesday from Bowling Green Ballpark. WKU will try to extend a winning stretch here, of which they’ve won 10 of their last 12 contests. UAB comes in with a better overall win/loss mark than the Tops (14-9 for the Blazers compared to 13-10 for the hometeam), but have struggled in the opening pair of C-USA series, getting swept by MTSU but taking two of three from the Herd. The Blazers were able to ride that momentum into a midweek sweep over Ole Miss this past week, and it’ll be defense as the key if UAB wants to be victorious; they ranked in the Top 25 nationally in defense last year, and currently lead C-USA in fielding with a .974 and have turned the 20th most amount of double plays in the country this year, including


against the Fighting Bjorks.

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The key for the Toppers will be pro prospect Anderson Miller, who ranks first in C-USA in home runs (7), slugging percentage (.728) and total bases (59) while ranking second in runs scored (24) and on-base percentage (.455). Needless to say, the dude is good, and if he has a good series, the Tops will have a good series. Here are your probable pitching matchups and start times (WKU pitcher is listed first):

Friday, 4:00 CT: Ryan Thurston (1-1, 5.74 ERA) vs. James Naile (3-2, 1.99 ERA) Saturday, 3:00 CT: Josh Bartley (4-1, 4.68) vs. Johhny Lieske (1-1, 3.60) Sunday, 1:00 CT: Austin King (1-2, 5.92) vs. TBA

If the Tops win the series, and along with a little help from Old Dominion, they could find themselves nestled near the top of the conference standings. But, first things first – extinguishing the Blazers.