WKU (6-4) scored one run in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings to jump in front of Ohio State (7-2) 4-1 and had control heading into the eighth.
GREENVILLE, N.C. – WKU took a 4-1 lead into the eighth inning against Ohio State Saturday morning at the 11th Annual Keith LeClair Classic, but the Buckeyes rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to squeak by the Hilltoppers at Clark-LeClair Stadium, 5-4.
WKU (6-4) scored one run in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings to jump in front of Ohio State (7-2) 4-1 and had control heading into the eighth. The Buckeyes found success against Hilltopper reliever Brandon Allen (0-2), however, and pounded out five hits that resulted in four runs. Jacob Bosiokovic provided the tying and winning runs for Ohio State, ripping a two-run single to right field to inflict the final damage.
The Hilltoppers were not able to rally in the ninth inning as the middle of the lineup went down in order to Ohio State closer Trace Dempsey.
Senior left-handed pitcher Austin Clay put together his second-consecutive scoreless outing, striking out four and scattering five hits in six shutout innings. In his last two starts Clay has worked 11 full innings without allowing an earned run.
The Buckeyes opened the game’s scoring in the second inning when Craig Nennig came around to score after reaching on an error, making the count 1-0 in favor of the Buckeyes.
WKU responded with one run in four of the next five innings, which was started with junior shortstop Cody Wofford’s RBI groundout to score sophomore Anderson Miller. Junior catcher Ryan Messex tied a career high with three hits and drove in sophomore Thomas Peter in the fourth inning to give WKU a 2-1 lead.
Sophomore outfielder Trevor Lowe laid down a pair of sacrifice bunts to advance Peter and Miller in the third and sixth innings, with Miller coming around to score in both of those frames. Junior first baseman Ryan Church was responsible for Miller’s second run, ripping a single into left field for his ninth RBI of the season. Junior designated hitter Philip Diedrick tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with a roping double down the left field line that scored Peter, who previously led off the inning with a double of his own.
Peter’s multi-hit game was the 10th of his career and second of the weekend as he finished his day 2-of-5 with a pair of runs scored. Miller finished his day with a pair of hits as well, going 2-of-3 at the dish with two runs scored. WKU finished the game with 11 hits, marking the fifth time in the past six games WKU has had 10 or more hits.
With WKU leading 4-1 in the seventh inning, sophomore reliever Jackson Sowell kept things in tact with a pair of strikeouts and no damage in the frame. Allen relieved Sowell to start the eighth and ran into trouble, allowing four hits and four runs to cross under his watch. Junior closer Ian Tompkins came on to limit the damage but Bosiokovic’s two-run single handed WKU its second-straight one-run loss.