BOWLING GREEN, Ky.--- After Matt Hightower led off the ninth inning with a double off the left field fence, Terrence Dayleg roped a single down the left field line to score Hightower and give Western Kentucky University (30-12, 16-5 SBC) a 4-3 win over Florida Atlantic University (24-18, 7-13 SBC) Sunday afternoon. The win gives WKU its 12th consecutive home series win, and moves WKU to an impressive 23-2 at Nick Denes Field in 2009.
WKU starting pitcher Shane Cameron continued his stellar Sunday pitching, going 6.2 innings, giving up three runs off six hits and striking out three in a no decision.
The Toppers got on the board early after Wade Gaynor belted his 15th home run of the year in the first inning, a two-run shot off FAU starter Brent Adheen. Adheen lasted four innings, giving up three runs off five hits.
The Owls would cut into the WKU lead in the top of the third after Travis Ozga hit a RBI double into right field, scoring Sean Bukovich to make it a 3-1 WKU lead. Ozga would finish the day 3-for-4 with two doubles.
The Toppers would quickly answer in the home half of the third, when Chad Cregar hit his first triple of the 2009 season with two outs and scored on a Matt Rice RBI single through the left side to give WKU a 3-1 advantage.
That 3-1 lead would hold up until the seventh inning, when FAU second baseman William Block singled off relief pitcher Evan Teague into left field with the bases loaded, scoring two runs to tie the game at three.
The Owls would have a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs, but WKU reliever Bart Carter got Nick Criaris to fly out to left field on a 2-0 pitch to end the inning. Carter (5-1) would also work the top of the ninth inning, getting William Block to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning and set up Terrence Dayleg’s game-winning hit in the bottom half of the ninth. Dayleg would finish the day going 3-for-4 at the plate to lead WKU.
Ahmed Garcia (2-1) suffered the loss for FAU, tossing four innings in relief, giving up only the ninth inning run.
WKU will return to action Tuesday night against Austin Peay at 6:00 p.m. (CDT) from Nick Denes Field.