BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Middle-of-the-order hitters Davis Sims and Jake Sanford
combined to go 4-for-8 as WKU Baseball lost by a score of 8-1 to visiting Eastern
Illinois in the series finale against the Panthers on Monday afternoon at Nick Denes
Field. It was the third multi-hit game for each player so far this season, as the
Hilltoppers fell to 5-2 in the 2019 campaign.
Righty Reece Calvert was stuck with the tough-luck decision, as the starter went 4.1
innings and allowed only two runs – one in each of the first two frames – on four
hits. He threw 44-of-75 pitches for strikes and struck out four before leaving with
a runner on in the fifth. Reliever Kenny LaPierre struck out the next two hitters to
strand the runner and keep WKU at a 2-0 deficit halfway through the game.
But the Hilltopper offense could not get anything going against EIU starter Spenser
Dexter, who put up eight zeroes in the first eight frames against the home team. EIU
struck for five runs in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 7-0 and then added
another in the seventh.
After singling in the first inning on a roller up the middle that hit the
second-base bag, Sims doubled off the right-field wall with one out in the ninth to
knock Dexter out of the game on his 109th pitch. Righty Will Klein was first out of
the bullpen, and Sanford greeted him with a double to the gap on a 2-2 pitch to
provide WKU with its lone run of the day, bringing the final score to 8-1.
* The Hilltoppers lost their first game at Nick Denes Field in 2019, falling to
5-1 on home turf. WKU was chasing the mark to start to the 2002 season, when the
team won its first 10 home games.
* Pitchers Jeff Ciocco and Reese Brewer made their 2019 debuts out of the
bullpen. Ciocco completed 1.2 innings while allowing three hits and one unearned
run, while Brewer tossed a scoreless ninth, stranding the bases loaded after a
base hit and two walks.
WKU plays host to in-state rival Murray State on Wednesday, Feb. 27 with first pitch
at 3 p.m. The Hilltoppers and Racers were originally scheduled to play on Tuesday,
but both teams agreed to move the game forward 24 hours due to the weather-altered
schedule of this past weekend.