BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Despite a 4-for-4 day from second baseman Steven Kraft with two
walks and two RBI, WKU Baseball fell to Louisiana Tech in 11 innings by a score of
4-2 on Sunday afternoon.
The senior from Gainesville, Va., tallied his third-career four-hit game and
increased his season slash line to .379/.488/.500. In Conference USA play, Kraft has
swung it at a .395/.510/.494 clip.
The game started with four scoreless frames from both starters; Hilltopper lefty
Evan Acosta and Bulldog lefty Logan Bailey. Acosta tied a career high in the first
three innings with five strikeouts, then stranded the bases loaded in the fourth to
keep it a 0-0 game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kevin Lambert extended his hit streak to four games with
a single up the middle. With Kraft at the plate with two outs, the sophomore stole
second base and improved to 4-for-4 in attempts in his WKU career. On a 3-2 pitch,
Kraft singled through the six-hole and Lambert beat the throw from left field for a
Acosta began the top of the sixth with a pair of walks and was replaced with righty
Jacob Green from the bullpen. Green threw errantly on a sacrifice bunt attempt that
scored one run and allowed an RBI single to Taylor Young, but then buckled down to
retire the final two Louisiana Tech batters via strikeout and keep the deficit at
After relievers Austin Tibbs and Conner Boyd combined to strand Bulldogs on the
corners with one out in the top of the seventh, it was Kraft and Lambert teaming up
once again for the tying run.
Lambert led off with his second hit of the day and moved to second base on a
sacrifice bunt by Luke Brown. It was Kraft again with the RBI knock, this time into
the gap in right-center, to drive home Lambert again to make it a 2-2 game.
The Hilltoppers (20-23, 10-11) had a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the
ninth Kraft’s fourth single and walks to Ray Zuberer III and Tyler Robertson loaded
the bases with one out. But a ground ball double play induced by Louisiana Tech
(31-15, 15-6) reliever Kent Hasler ended the frame and sent the contest into extra
Righty Ben Morrison fired zeroes in the ninth and 10th frames, but found trouble in
the 11th when shortstop Dalton Skelton hit a solo homerun to right-center field for
a 3-2 lead. Mason Mallard followed with his third single of the day and Maddex
Richardson came in from the bullpen.
The freshman from Owensboro got a fly out and ground ball to third base, but a
two-out throwing error allowed a second Bulldog run to score in the inning for a 4-2
Kraft walked on four pitches in the bottom of the 11th to reach base for the sixth
time, bringing up Zuberer as the potential game-tying run with two outs. That
Owensboro native cracked a line-drive fly ball to the wall in right field, caught by
a jumping Mason Robinson for the final out.
* The Hilltoppers dropped to 5-2 in C-USA series finales, 0-2 in extra-inning
games and 0-3 when having an equal number of hits as their opponent.
* Luke Brown went 2-for-5 in his first start in the leadoff spot. He now has 13
multi-hit games in his past 21 starts, pushing his batting average to a
season-high .333. In C-USA action, his .370 clip ranks second on WKU behind Steven
* Conner Boyd lowered his ERA to a team-best 1.33 on the season in 20.1 frames
and 0.79 in C-USA games in 11.1 innings. He has stranded 17-of-27 inherited
runners on the season and 49-of-75 in his two-year career on The Hill.
* Colie Currie went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles for his first multi-hit game
since going 5-for-6 at UAB on April 20. It was his 12th such game of the season
30th of his two-year career at WKU.
* In his 98th career – and consecutive – start, Kevin Lambert went 2-for-5 with
a pair of runs scored. It was his first multi-hit effort since March 17 and his
first multi-run contest since March 18; both games vs. Middle Tennessee.
WKU travels to Clarksville, Tenn., for a midweek contest at Austin Peay on Tuesday,
May 1. First pitch will be at 6:00 p.m., as the Hilltoppers eye a repeat of last
year’s performance against the Governors, when they hit eight homeruns en route to a
22-17 victory on the road.
The 2018 Austin Peay club has an overall record of 25-19, including 15-9 in Ohio
Valley Conference games. The Governors entered the weekend with an RPI of 89 and
then proceeded to take 2-of-3 against UT Martin. WKU holds a 97-59-1 advantage in
the all-time series.