Hilltoppers Drop Series Opener to Central Michigan
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Baseball dropped its series opener to Central Michigan, 6-4, on Friday afternoon at Nick Denes Field.
After the Hilltoppers came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie things up at four apiece through seven innings, the Chippewas would answer back with runs in the eighth and ninth frames to earn the 6-4 win.
“Well, I think we didn’t play one of our cleanest games,” said head coach John Pawlowski. “We mishandled the ball and you give a good team – and Central Michigan’s a very good team – you give them more than three outs an inning, it makes it tough. They took advantage of a couple of our mistakes today and we just weren’t able to overcome some of that today.”
Jake Kates started things off on the mound for WKU, striking out nine batters while allowing four runs (one earned) in 3.2 innings of work. The Hilltoppers utilized three pitchers from there in Aristotle Peter, Mason Vinyard and Bill Duby, with the trio combining to allow five hits and two runs while recording eight strikeouts in 5.1 frames.
Offensively, WKU tallied eight hits and three walks, with two players producing multi-hit performances. Ty Batusich led the way, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Matthew Meyer added a 2-for-2 outing to go along with a walk and two RBI.
Central Michigan opened the scoring in the first frame, using an RBI double to make it 1-0.
The Hilltoppers evened things up in the second inning, with an RBI double by Mayer scoring Justin Carlin to put the score at 1-1.
The Chippewas regained their lead in the fourth frame, scoring three runs to jump ahead 4-1.
WKU chipped away from there, starting with a solo shot to left field by Batusich in the bottom of the fourth.
The Hilltoppers added another run in the sixth, as Meyer used an RBI double down the left field line to make it 4-3.
WKU then tied things back up in the seventh inning, as a Butisch RBI double to right center scored Jackson Gray to put the game at 4-4.
Central Michigan regained control in the top of the eighth, taking a 5-4 lead after a bases-loaded hit by pitch.
The Chippewas then added an insurance run in the ninth, using an RBI single to earn a 6-4 advantage and the eventual win.
The Hilltoppers will continue their series against Central Michigan with a seven-inning doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Nick Denes Field.