WKU Hosts First-Time Opponent UNC Asheville This Weekend

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Baseball returns to Nick Denes Field this weekend as the Hilltoppers (2-2) play host to UNC Asheville (1-0) in a three-game series for the first time in program history. First pitch times are slated for 3 p.m. (CT) Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Bulldogs and Hilltoppers have never met, but there is a common denominator in this weekend’s matchup: WKU head coach Matt Myers. Myers began his head coaching career at UNC Asheville from 2001-04, winning Big South Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2003 after guiding the Bulldogs to a then program record 27 wins.

WKU is 6-9 all-time against programs from the Big South Conference but has won three-straight after sweeping VMI at Nick Denes Field last season.

The Hilltopper IMG sports Radio Network will broadcast every game for the Hilltoppers this season and can be heard on local airwaves at ESPN 1450 AM or online via subscription at WKUSports.tv. Scott Thompson will have the call for all three games this weekend and will be joined by WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell in Friday’s series opener.

WKU will keep its opening weekend starting rotation in tact for the UNC Asheville series, as seniors Justin Hageman, Austin Clay and Jake Thompson combined to strike out 14 batters and hold Southern Illinois to five earned runs in 15.2 innings last weekend. The Hilltoppers will face three right-handed starters from UNC Asheville in Corey Randall, Ethan Steible and Dean Roland.

Hageman gets the Friday-night starting nod following a six-inning, three-hit outing against Southern Illinois in which he allowed no earned runs. Hageman’s start will mark the 35th of his career. After last week’s effort, Hageman has now surrendered one or less runs in over five innings of work in 11 of his 34 career starts.

Left-handed Austin Clay and righty Jake Thompson will be behind Hageman on Saturday and Sunday. Both of the senior hurlers picked up wins in last Sunday’s double-header sweep of Southern Illinois, combining to strike out 10 batters and scatter seven hits.

Saturday’s game against UNC Asheville is Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day as all WKU faculty and staff members can receive two free tickets by signing in at the entrance gate. Sunday’s contest will be another Sunday Fun Day with all children ages 12 or under receiving free admission and an opportunity to run the bases following the game.

Season tickets for the 2014 WKU Baseball season are on sale now and can be purchased online at WKUSports.com or by calling 1-800-5-BIGRED. The season ticket package includes 28 general admission tickets to any home games of choice for just $35. For more information on WKU Baseball, follow @WKUBaseball on Twitter or visit WKUSports.com.

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