Hilltoppers End Eight-Game Skid with Win Over Evansville
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Baseball defeated Evansville, 6-2, to end its eight-game losing streak on Tuesday night at Nick Denes Field.
The Hilltoppers improve to 17-17 (2-10 in C-USA) on the year while the Aces drop to 19-13 overall.
“Johnny Wholestaff was alright tonight,” said head coach Marc Rardin. “We had a little glitch there in the second inning with a wild pitch on an off-speed that we cannot have, but I tell these guys all the time, “Life is based on opportunities.” It is just the opportunities and what you get. I just call these opportunity games because guys need to get their work in, but they need to keep improving and proving to guys like me. We just ran out a lot of freshmen, too. Gothrup, Jones, Schutte, and Bennett, those guys are all freshmen, so it was good to see that, and we will keep running them out there.”
LHP Cal Higgins made his first start as a Hilltopper in the midweek matchup, but WKU utilized eight pitchers in total to guide its way to the win. Cole Heath, Jack Bennett, Beau Coffman, Jake Gothrup, and CJ Weins shared time on the rubber with Coffman picking up his first win of the season and CJ Weins earning his fifth save. Coffman totaled just one strikeout in 2.0 innings of work while allowing just one run on one hit and one walk. Weins entered in the eighth inning and notched five strikeouts in the final 2.0 frames, including one with the bases loaded on a full count with two outs to get out of the inning.
Offensively, just one Hilltopper had a multi-hit performance in Camden Ross with a 2-for-4 outing, an RBI and a run scored while Kirk Liebert knocked a timely, two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to give the Tops the lead.
Evansville crossed the first run of the game in the top of the second, scoring on a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead.
The Tops got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, starting with an RBI double from Andrew Delaney that was followed by a two-RBI single from Kirk Liebert to take the lead, 3-1.
The Aces answered back in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to make it a one-run game at 3-2.
Ty Batusich extended the Tops lead back to two with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 4-2.
An RBI single from Camden Ross and an errant throw from Evansville added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth for WKU and CJ Weins earned his fifth save of the season in the top of the ninth to give the Tops the 6-2 victory.
The Hilltoppers hit the road for a weekend series against the UAB Blazers beginning on Friday, April 14, starting at 6 p.m. CT in Birmingham, Ala.