Bowling Green, Ky. - The bats came out in the conclusion of a Sun Belt Conference series between South Alabama and the Western Kentucky University baseball team as the teams combined for 26 runs and 30 hits in a 17-9 victory for the Jaguars.
The Hilltoppers dropped to 22-27 overall and 13-14 in the SBC while USA improved to 27-23 and 11-15 in conference action.
WKU came into the bottom of the fourth tied at four and left with a four run lead. They loaded the bases to begin the inning and a Tyler Bumgarner sacrifice fly to centerfield scored Jack Ambrose. Casey Hamilton followed with a double off the centerfield wall to score Troy Frazier and put the Hilltoppers up 6-4. Scotty Colt then followed with a two RBI single to left field to push the WKU lead to four runs.
USA then added six runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good. The inning was capped off by a grand slam from Joel Collins to put South Alabama up 10-8.
The Jaguars then put the game away in the eighth when Clint Toomey hit a single to score two runs and Jeff Cunningham then grounded out to put USA up 13-8. The inning ended for USA after Joel Collins hit a two RBI single to put five runs across in the inning and make the score 15-8.
The Hilltoppers took the lead in the second inning when Ambrose and Adam Duvall both reached on singles and later scored on a Scott Kaskie triple. Kaskie then came home on a wild pitch to put WKU ahead 4-2.
Sean Laird and David Doss helped USA tie the game in the fourth at four with two solo home runs. The shot by Laird was his second homer of the day.
Liam Shanahan (1-8) took the loss while giving up five runs. Ambrose finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three Hilltoppers added two RBI on the day.
Matt Petersen earned his first decision on the year going 4.1 innings and only giving up three hits and no runs. Lance Heisler went 4-for-5 with two runs and one RBI and Toomey went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Collins added six RBI on the day.
The Hilltoppers conclude their non-conference schedule with a 3 p.m. (CDT) matchup at Purdue on Tuesday. WKU will then head to Middle Tennessee for a three-game set to finish conference action starting on Thursday.