CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Luke Brown tied a career high with four hits, but WKU Baseball
fell in the opening game at Charlotte by a score of 4-2.
With a 4-for-5 game, the freshman pushed his overall batting average to .346 and his
mark in Conference USA games to a team-high .395. The Bowling Green native has 14
multi-hit efforts in the past 23 games.
Lefty starters Troy Newell and Josh Maciejewski traded zeroes for the first two
frames before the Hilltoppers struck in the third.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Jacob Rhinesmith hit a deep sacrifice fly to
center field that allowed Kevin Lambert to scamper home from third base. Making his
100th career start, Lambert extended his hit streak to a career-high six games with
a leadoff double in the inning.
Newell was scoreless through the fourth, which allowed WKU to take a 2-0 lead in the
top of the fifth. With two out and runners on first and second, Brown was hung out
to dry on a spin-around pickoff move, but Maciejewski threw errantly to third
baseman Jackson Mims. Brown scored on the throwing error, that would have ended the
inning with three outs.
The 49ers got one run in the bottom of that frame, when Mims blooped a two-out
single to center field, then scored three in the sixth to take the lead from the
In-between, Chase Larsen was robbed of a homerun by left fielder Drew Ober in the
top of the sixth that would have given WKU a 3-1 lead with a dozen outs to go.
Ober led off the bottom of that inning with a single and came around to score after
a sacrifice bunt and a pair of wild pitches by Newell. After a one-out walk, the
lefty was lifted for reliever Conner Boyd. The senior was greeted with a double that
scored the inherited run and an infield single, then Charlotte scored its fourth
tally on a safety squeeze.
Reliever Michael Martin got the final out of the sixth and pitched a scoreless
seventh, then Maddex Richardson struck out the side in the eighth to keep it a 4-2
The Hilltoppers rallied in the ninth when pinch hitter Richard Constantine and Brown
singled to put the potential game-tying run on base, but Steven Kraft popped out
against reliever Jonah Patten to end the game.
Kraft went 1-for-3 in the game with a pair of walks, pushing his on-base mark to
.514 in C-USA action.