NASHVILLE, Tenn. — WKU Baseball fell short of host Lipscomb on Tuesday afternoon,
losing to Bisons by a score of 3-1 at Ken Dugan Field. Two unearned runs in the
first two frames were the difference for the Hilltoppers, who nearly formulated a
comeback in the ninth inning but left the bases loaded.
Freshman righty Hunter Crosby started for WKU, making his collegiate debut on the
mound. Although he did not allow a hit through the infield in his first two frames,
he found himself down 2-0 after leadoff runners in both innings reached base on
errors and came around to score.
After allowing a single and walk to begin the third, he was lifted for reliever Eric
Crawford. The righty allowed an infield single to load the bases with zero outs, but
then held his composure to induce a 3-2-3 double play and a comebacker to the mound
to escape with no runs allowed.
Crawford produced three zeroes over the next three innings, continuing the trend of
excellent middle relief for head coach John Pawlowski early in the season. The
Bradenton, Fla., native allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out
four, with 37-of-66 pitches going for strikes.
The WKU bats got on the board in the eighth with some two-out action, as right
fielder Jake Sanford singles home catcher Matt Phipps, who doubled off the
left-field wall a couple pitches prior.
Senior righty Jacob Green made his season debut, striking out four in 1.2 frames.
However, following a scoreless seventh, he did allow a run in the bottom of the
eighth as the Hilltoppers saw their deficit climb back to two.
After the first two batters in the visitors’ ninth went quietly, shortstop Kevin
Lambert drew a six-pitch walk, followed by a single up the middle by freshman center
fielder Jackson Swiney. Left fielder Aidan Elias fought off numerous two-strike
pitches and reached on an error by the Bisons’ third baseman to load the bases, but
a ground out ended the game.
* Phipps’ double in the eighth was his fourth extra-base hit of the season,
tying Sanford for the most on the team. He has three doubles and one homerun.
* Swiney was the first Hilltopper to reach base when he was hit by pitch in the
second. He was the lone WKU player to reach base twice in the game.
* The WKU pitching staff has allowed 15 runs – 12 earned – through the first
four games of the season. The Hilltoppers have allowed 15 or fewer runs in the
first four games in 3-of-4 seasons under Pawlowski.
WKU returns home for a four-game series vs. Eastern Illinois from Feb. 22-24 at Nick
Denes Field, with a scheduled doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 23 beginning at 11 a.m.
The Hilltoppers and Panthers have not played since the same weekend 28 years ago,
when WKU swept EIU in a three-game set from Feb. 23-24.