BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The WKU baseball team tallied 14 hits and scored multiple runs in three different innings on Wednesday at Nick Denes Field to pick up an 8-5 win over visiting Evansville. The win gave WKU its ninth win in the last 11 games at home, and moved the Hilltoppers to 10-4 in their last 14 games overall.
The two teams would combine for 13 runs and 26 hits on Wednesday, but would strand 23 runners combined, as WKU would stand 12, while Evansville left 11. The win gave the Hilltoppers 30 consecutive victories when leading after eight innings, and moved them to 8-3 overall when having more than 10 hits in a game this season.
WKU struck first in the opening inning, scoring three runs off three hits, aided by an RBI double by Ryan Huck and an RBI single from Ryan Messex to give WKU an early 3-0 lead. The early lead was the ninth time this season WKU had scored first, as the Hilltoppers are now 8-1 when getting an early lead.
After a Kevin Kaczmarski two-run home run in the third inning made it 3-2, WKU would up the lead back to two on a Ryan Huck sacrifice fly to make it 4-2 after three innings. Huck would finish the day 2-for-3 with two RBI, giving the senior first baseman 25 RBI on the year.
The Hilltoppers would pad their lead in the fourth inning as Trevor Lowe and Regan Flaherty each picked up RBI singles in the inning to give WKU a 6-2 advantage. Flaherty would be one of five Hilltoppers to have a multi-hit game on Wednesday, as the junior would finish his night 2-for-3 with one RBI. Starting second baseman Steve Hodgins set a career high with three hits on Wednesday, going 3-for-4, scoring two runs.
Evansville would cut into the WKU lead in the sixth inning, scoring two runs off a pair of hits, but would strand runners at second and third in the inning as David Patton would strike out to end the threat in the sixth.
Leading 6-4, WKU would add a pair of runs in the seventh off a solo home run by Adam Lavelle, and an RBI single from Scott Wilcox to give the Hilltoppers an 8-4 lead. The home run was the first for Lavelle in 2013, and gave the Hilltoppers 16 home runs on the year, after having just eight home runs at this point last season. Evansville would add a run in the eighth, but Justin Hageman would strike out Jason Hockemeyer with runners on first and second to end the threat.
Brennan Pearson would come on to shut the door for WKU in ninth, earning his second save of the season, and gave the Hilltoppers their ninth save in 2013.
In all, WKU would use six different pitchers on the day. Jake Thompson (2-3) would pick up the win on the staff day, working two scoreless innings in a starting role, striking out three of the eight batters he faced. Freshman Jackson Sowell would work the next two innings, followed by fellow freshman Alex Mercer, who would work a perfect fifth inning. Tate Glasscock, Justin Hageman and Brennan Pearson would close things out for WKU, working the final four innings.