Hilltoppers launch two pinch-hit homers; fall to No. 16 Kentucky

The Hilltoppers drop to 16-10 (2-4 in C-USA) while the Wildcats improve to 22-3 overall.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Baseball dropped its midweek matchup with the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday night at Nick Denes Field.

The Hilltoppers drop to 16-10 (2-4 in C-USA) while the Wildcats improve to 22-3 overall.

“A lot of times our things just start with getting behind in the count, getting a walk, or an error and I just got done talking to the team about this. A lot of this comes back to me,” said head coach Marc Rardin. “Tonight, I feel, comes back to me. We need to have a little bit more solid discipline. It’s that word “process”, but we keep pushing off the bottom of the pool and going back up to the top, but we are not staying there very long. That is my job – to get us where we are going to be more consistent – and we’re just not, right now. We outhit everybody every time we play. We always have more errors than they do. We’re just not getting more runs than the other team.”

LHP Cam Tullar got the starting nod for the second time this season on the rubber. The left-hander logged one strikeout in 2.1 innings without allowing a run on just one hit and two walks. Six Hilltoppers made relief appearances on the mound following Tullar’s departure. Jack Bennett notched the most efficient outing of the night, entering in the third inning and totaling four strikeouts in 3.2 frames only allowing a single run on one hit and one walk on just 42 pitches. The Tops bullpen was solid until the seventh and eighth innings, allowing 10 Wildcat runs to cross and surrender the lead.

At the dish, WKU outhit its opponent for the seventh straight game in an 11-hit effort on the night with two Hilltoppers going for multi-hit performances. Tristin Garcia went 3-for-5 on the night with a run scored while Brett Blomquist and Ty Batusich each knocked pinch-hit homers to help lead the comeback charge in the final two innings.


The Hilltoppers jumped in front in the second inning, marking twice with a sacrifice fly from Eli Watson and an RBI single from Camden Ross to take a 2-0 lead.

WKU crossed again in the third off an RBI single from Kirk Liebert to extend the lead to 3-0.

A balk from the Wildcats with the bases loaded allowed Drew Reckart to score from third and make the score 4-0 in the fifth inning.

A big seventh inning for the Kentucky offense started with the Wildcats scoring twice off two errors from the Tops defense and four more crossed with a grand slam to give Kentucky the 6-4 lead.

The Wildcats added four in the eighth with an RBI infield single and a three-run homer to extend their lead to 10-4.

WKU edged closer in the eighth starting with a pinch-hit solo shot from Brett Blomquist and continuing with an RBI walk from Aidan Gilroy while a Wildcat wild pitch scored another and cut the deficit to three and make the score 10-7.

Another pinch-hit homer from Ty Batusich edged the Tops closer in the bottom of the ninth, but the rest of the Hilltopper offense could not get anything going, making the final tally, 10-8.


The Hilltoppers hit the road to continue conference play with a three-game against UTSA beginning on Friday, March 31, starting at 6 p.m. CT in San Antonio, Texas.