BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Mother nature didn’t make things easy for WKU and ULM on Saturday, but the two squads found a window big enough to squeeze in nine innings, as the Hilltopper offense pounded out 14 hits and Andrew Edwards held ULM to just two hits through seven innings, leading WKU to a 7-2 win to even the weekend series. The game was originally scheduled for 3:00 PM on Saturday, but a rainy forecast moved the game back three hours, with the eventual first pitch being thrown at 6:21.
Hilltopper starter Andrew Edwards helped WKU snap a five-game losing skid, tossing seven innings, allowing just two earned runs on two hits, while striking out eight. It marked the third time this season that Edwards has gone at least seven innings, and set a career-low for hits allowed in a start. For the game, the Hilltopper pitchers would toss a two-hitter for the second time this season, as Ian Tompkins would come in for the final two innings, striking out four of the six batters he faced.
The WKU offense backed up the superb pitching with a solid offensive night, as the Hilltoppers pounded out 14 hits, marking the fourth time this season the Hilltoppers have had 14 or more hits in a game.
Once again it was the top of the order that set the tone for the Hilltoppers, as the trio of Scott Wilcox, Ryan Huck and Regan Flaherty went a combined 8-for-14 in the middle of the WKU lineup. Wilcox now has seven hits in the series and 18 multiple hit performances this season after he went 4-for-5 on Saturday, which was good for his second four-hit game of the season. Steve Hodgins also tallied a four-hit game, finishing the night a perfect 4-of-4 at the plate, which was good for his first career four-hit game. Hodgins has recorded at least two hits in six of his last 10 games.
After ULM struck for the game’s first run in the second inning, the Hilltoppers responded with a pair of runs in the third off an RBI-double from Regan Flaherty. Flaherty would later score after Devin Kelly reached on an error to give WKU a 2-1 lead through three innings.
That lead would hold until the fifth when WKU opened the game up with three runs on five hits, capped off by a two-RBI single from Blake Crabtree to make it 5-1.
Leading 5-2 in the eighth, the Hilltoppers would put it away, getting a two-RBI single from Scott Wilcox to make it 7-2. Wilcox, Flaherty and Crabtree would drive in six of WKU’s seven runs on the night.
The Hilltoppers chased ULM starter Shelby Aulds after just 4.1 innings of work, picking up 10 hits and five runs off the Warhawk pitcher.
WKU (23-24, 12-11) snapped its five-game losing streak with the win, and won its 17th game at Nick Denes Field this season. Three more home wins would give the Hilltoppers their 14th 20-win season at home, and their first since 2009 when the team went 27-3.
WKU junior Justin Hageman is scheduled to get the start for WKU on Sunday, as the Hilltoppers look to win their sixth series in a row at home, and their fifth Sun Belt Conference series in a row at Nick Denes Field. WKU last lost a home series back on opening weekend against Bowling Green State. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Sunday.