WKU hosts Bowling Green for three-game series

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Western Kentucky welcomes Bowling Green for a three-game series at Nick Denes Field starting at 3 p.m. Friday.

This will be the fourth series between the Hilltoppers and Falcons, all played in Kentucky. Western holds a 9-4 advantage in the all-time series, including a 4-3 victory – a combined two-hitter – in the team’s most recent matchup Feb. 17, 2013.

The Hilltoppers will stick with their rotation of left-hander Ryan Thurston followed by right-handers Colby Taylor and Paul Kirkpatrick. In eight starts, the trio has combined for seven outings of five-plus innings and two or fewer earned runs. The three have held opposing batters to a .183 batting average (13-for-71) with runners on base.

After a 15-34 season in 2017, BGSU has gotten out to a 3-10 start this year under 28th-year head coach Danny Schmitz. Most recently, the Falcons suffered a 3-2, 12-inning loss at Evansville.

With the bats, BGSU is led by infielders Neil Lambert and Randy Righter, who have both started all 13 games. Lambert is slashing .354/.456/.500 with five extra-base hits and seven stolen bases, while Righter has scored a team-high 10 runs and boasts four extra-base hits of his own.

The Falcons will send a trio of righties to the bump as Zac Carey, David Steward and Tyler Anderson are expected to receive the starting nods. Reliever Brad Croy leads the club with a 1.38 ERA in six appearances, including two saves. He has 21 strikeouts 13 innings pitched.