WKU Baseball Opens Sun Belt Conference Play with Three-Game Home Weekend Series with Rival Middle Tennessee

By: Kyle Allen, WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Kyle Allen, WKU Athletic Media Relations

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Longtime Sun Belt Conference rivals WKU and Middle Tennessee will square off in a three-game weekend series at Nick Denes Field beginning on Friday, March 15 at 6:00 PM (CT) in the first conference games of the season for both teams.

WKU and Middle Tennessee will meet for the 216th time on Friday, which marks the most games against any opponent in WKU baseball history. The next-closest opponent would be Austin Peay, which WKU played for the 149th time earlier this season. WKU and Middle Tennessee have met in all but two years since the 1952 season, and first met back in 1911 - the second year of WKU baseball.

The Hilltoppers have gone 9-3 against the Blue Raiders in the last 12 games played in Bowling Green, winning each of the last four series against Middle Tennessee at Nick Denes Field. In 2012, WKU took two of three from the Blue Raiders to secure its spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The Hilltoppers took each of the first two games of the series, including a 13-inning thriller in game two.

WKU has not lost a home series to Middle Tennessee since the 2005 season, and have gone 68-40-1 against the Blue Raiders in Bowling Green all-time. The Hilltoppers have won four-straight conference openers, including two-straight over Middle Tennessee.

WKU (7-9) is coming off a pair of losses at Tennessee during the mid-week portion of the schedule, including a 10-inning thriller on Wednesday, falling 5-4. The one-run game was the seventh of the season for WKU, marking the most one-run games this early in the season since the Hilltoppers played seven one-run games in the first 14 games of the 1983 season.

WKU will send left-hander Tanner Perkins to the mound on Friday, making his fourth career start against Middle Tennessee. The junior is 2-0 against the Blue Raiders, sporting a 2.50 ERA. Perkins started two games against Middle Tennessee in 2011, going 2-0, with a 0.60 ERA, allowing just one earned run in the two starts. Andrew Edwards will get the starting nod on Saturday, followed by senior Tim Bado on Sunday.

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