BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The WKU Baseball lineup will look to rebound in back-to-back midweek games vs. Belmont on Tuesday, March 7 and at Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, March 8. Both first pitches will be at 3 p.m. CT.
After starting their series against visiting Ohio with a 5-4 win, the Hilltoppers (4-8) had two 3-0 losses to round out the weekend against the Bobcats. Just about 48 hours after the final pitch of Sunday’s game, WKU will have the opportunity to face Belmont for a second time this season. Lefty Ben Lovell is expected to start for the visitors, while head coach John Pawlowski’s pitcher remains TBA at this time.
The Bruins (5-6) were the first midweek opponent when the Hilltoppers went to Nashville on Feb. 22, but the visitors fell by a score of 11-3 on the Wednesday afternoon. Jeff Ciocco made his first WKU start, pitching two innings with three runs allowed in the loss. Bailey Sutton was one of seven to pitch in relief and threw two scoreless frames, including striking out the side in the Bruins’ fifth.
After falling behind 5-0, the Hilltoppers fought back to make it 5-3 in the seventh inning with a solo homerun by Kaleb Duckworth, a pinch-hit, RBI double by Wood and a sacrifice fly from Paul Murray. But Belmont added six runs in the final two frames to produce the final score.
The Colonels (6-6), meanwhile, have had an up-and-down beginning of the season thus far. EKU was swept in a four-game set at Arizona to open the season, but have since swept back-to-back series at home against Oakland and Youngstown State. Sprinkled in have been midweek losses to Bluegrass State opponents Louisville and Kentucky, both on the road.
The Hilltoppers’ leading hitter through their first dozen games is the backstop, Hunter Wood, who is slashing .368/.442/.608 with a team-best 14 hits – including five extra-base knocks – and eight runs batted in. Splitting the starts at first base, Nathan Methvin ranks second with a .333/.429.458 slash line, boasting four walks compared to only three strikeouts.
Freshman Kevin Lambert has started all 12 games – including the past five at shortstop – and reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in every one. He is tied with Methvin for a team-best .429 on-base percentage, leading the team with seven walks and two stolen bases.
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