BOCA RATON, Fla. — Western Kentucky University sophomore shortstop Scott Wilcox had three hits with two RBIs and right-hander Justin Hageman allowed one run over 7-2/3 innings to lift the Hilltoppers past Florida Atlantic 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at FAU Baseball Stadium.
WKU (20-28, 10-14 Sun Belt Conference) led 4-0 after four innings and added runs in the sixth and seventh while outhitting Florida Atlantic (28-18, 16-6) 11-5. Five of the six Hilltopper runs were scored with two outs.
Hageman (3-5) was touched for one run on five hits in a season-best 7-2/3 innings while walking four and striking out four. The sophomore retired the side in order in the first, third and sixth innings. Redshirt senior Ross Hammonds recorded the final four outs of the game, two via the strikeouts.
Owls starter Austin Gomber (3-4) allowed four runs – one earned – on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 3-2/3 innings.
Wilcox led the offense, going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Designated hitter Devin Kelly also had two hits and two RBIs while third baseman Casey Dykes went 1-for-5 with an RBI. Eight of nine Hilltopper starters recorded at least one hit, including catcher Ryan Messex who tallied a double in the sixth.
Center fielder Jared Andreoli’s first-inning single moved the senior into sole possession of forth on the career hits list, passing former Hilltopper Chris Turner (1988-91).
The Hilltoppers scored three runs in the top of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. After Dykes drove in a run reaching base on an error with the bases loaded, Kelly tallied a two-run single to cap the scoring.
WKU adds a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI ground-rule double by Wilcox to make the score 4-0.
Florida Atlantic cut the lead to 4-1 with a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by designated hitter Robert Buckley.
The Hilltoppers regained its four-run lead, 5-1, in the top of the sixth inning on a two-out, run-scoring single by Wilcox. Messex scored on the play after leading off the inning with a double and moving to third on a sacrifice.
WKU tallied a run in the top of the seventh as Dykes scored from third on a wild pitch by Owls reliever Michael Sylvestri to push the advantage to 6-1.
WKU does not have a game in the midweek due to final exams but returns to action next weekend with a three-game series at South Alabama in Mobile. Ala. The Hilltoppers then close out the regular season with a four-game homestand against Eastern Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.