BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Visiting Louisiana Tech took an early eight-run lead against
WKU Baseball, and the Hilltoppers lost by a score of 13-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Steven Kraft hit his 10th career homerun on The Hill, a three-run shot in the eighth
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the first and three in the second off WKU starter
Paul Kirkpatrick, then three in the third against reliever Devon Loomis. Two of the
tallies in the third were unearned, but the damage was done for an 8-0 lead.
Nick Brunson gave the Hilltoppers their first hit of the day when he painted the
right-field line with a double with one out in the third. Kevin Lambert followed
with a ground-ball single over the pitcher’s mound on the next pitch to put a run on
the board for WKU (20-22, 10-10), making the score 8-1 while extending his hit
streak to three games.
Michael Darrell-Hicks and Jeff Ciocco helped the Hilltoppers post scoreless innings
in the fourth, fifth and sixth as the score stayed stagnant during that time.
Ciocco started the seventh with 4.2 scoreless frames, but after back-to-back hits
allowed his first run of the year across five appearances. Louisiana Tech (30-15,
14-6) added three more in the eighth against lefty Troy Newell to make it 12-1, then
Malcolm Grady came in to relieve and got the final three outs of the frame.
Bulldog starter Logan Robbins went seven innings and allowed one run on four hits;
the lefty threw 103 pitches – 66 strikes – before giving way to Ben Stiglets to
begin the eighth.
In that frame, Luke Brown and pinch hitter Chase Larsen singled to start the inning.
With one out on an 0-2 pitch, Kraft jumped on a breaking ball from the righty and
sent it over the fence in left-center for his second long ball of the year.
Although it was the 10th homerun of the senior’s WKU career, it was only his third
at Nick Denes Field. It had been more than two years since Kraft homered in a home
game, dating back to a two-run shot that scored Danny Hudzina on April 22, 2016,
Oddly enough, his first career homerun in Bowling Green also came against Louisiana
Tech; it was a solo shot on April 9, only 13 days prior. After hitting six long
balls in his sophomore season of 2016, Kraft’s previous three homeruns had been at
Eastern Kentucky; a pair on March 8, 2017, and then another earlier this season on