WKU drops doubleheader to North Dakota State
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Western Kentucky Baseball was unable to carry over its momentum from opening night, as the team dropped its doubleheader against North Dakota State on Monday afternoon at Nick Denes Field.
After picking up a 10-4 win in their season-opener Sunday night, the Hilltoppers fell in both games on Monday by scores of 8-5 and 10-2.
“Give North Dakota State credit, they played well,” said head coach John Pawlowski. “We did a lot of uncharacteristic things that we normally don’t do. It seemed like they just multiplied today for us in all facets of the game. When we look at it, there’s a lot that we have to clean up – a lot of work yet to be done with this group. But they’ll respond, they’ll come back.”
Michael Darrell-Hicks earned the start in game one of today’s doubleheaders, allowing six runs in 3.1 innings of action while striking out two. Dalton Shoemake, Riley Boyd, and Collin Lollar all saw time on the mound in relief of Darrell-Hicks, with the trio combining to allow just one earned run while fanning four batters in 5.2 innings.
Offensively, the Hilltoppers actually out-hit the Bison 11 to 10 but were unable to string enough together to turn them into runs. Every starter recorded at least one hit in the contest, with Richard Constantine and Jackson Swiney leading the way with two apiece.
The Hilltoppers rolled out a multitude of pitchers in game two as the contest quickly got away from them. In total, seven WKU pitchers saw the mound, combining to surrender 16 hits and seven earned runs.
At the plate, the Hilltoppers combined for nine hits, with Matthew Meyer and Davis Sims both producing two apiece.
SCORING SUMMARY (GAME 1)
WKU opened the scoring in game one with a three-run first frame. Ray Zuberer III got the squad started with a sac fly to left field, followed by an RBI-groundout by Sims and RBI-double by Matt Phipps.
The Bison pulled ahead in the third inning, scoring four runs in the frame to take their first lead of the game.
North Dakota State then went on to score runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh inning to jump out to an 8-3 lead.
WKU showed signs of life in the eighth, with Eric Riffe and Constantine recording one RBI apiece to make it 8-5, but the Hilltoppers ultimately couldn’t muster enough offense to make a comeback.
SCORING SUMMARY (GAME 2)
North Dakota State jumped out to an early lead in the series finale, racking up four runs in the first frame.
The Bison continued to slowly build their lead throughout the game, culminating in a 10-0 advantage after the top of the seventh.
WKU would go on to score two runs in the bottom of the seventh via a two-RBI single through the right side by Zuberer, but the Hilltoppers were unable to find any more offense from there and ultimately suffered the 10-2 loss.
The Hilltoppers will head to Nashville, Tenn., to face No. 2 Vanderbilt at 4:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
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