BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Inclement weather has led to an intriguing opportunity for WKU
Baseball, who will host No. 15 Louisville on Wednesday, March 21, at Nick Denes
Field. First pitch between the Hilltoppers and Cardinals is set for 4 p.m.
The intra-state matchup was originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday at 5:30
p.m. at Bowling Green Ballpark, the home of the Hot Rods. But with expected
temperatures in the 30’s and snow a possibility on Tuesday evening, the call was
made Monday morning to move the game 22.5 hours back and 1.6 miles down the road.
Weather on Wednesday afternoon is likely to sit in the upper 40’s with no
precipitation, and the first 250 WKU students through the gates will receive a free
The Hilltoppers (10-10) will face their second ranked opponent of the season, 22
days after a 4-3 loss at No. 7 Kentucky in which WKU led 3-0 in the ninth inning.
The last Hilltopper win over a ranked team was at No. 3 Louisville on April 22,
2015. In that game, WKU got out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and extended
it to 7-0 going into the bottom of the fourth. Leiff Clarkson, Ryan Church, Danny
Hudzina, Anderson Miller and Cody Wofford each had two hits. Starter Josh Bartley
threw four innings of one-run ball to earn the win, and reliever Ben Morrison
pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the 7-3 final score.
The past three meetings, however, have gone the way of the Cardinals; wins of 17-0
and 14-2 in 2016, as well as an 11-1 game on March 29, 2017.
Troy Newell and the 2018 Hilltoppers will look to change that, as the lefty has
received the starting nod for the midweek contest. Since his first start for WKU at
Memphis on Feb. 18, Newell has thrown six innings and allowed only one earned run.
The Hilltoppers picked up a much-needed win over visiting Middle Tennessee on March
18, a 10-7 win in the final matchup of a three-game set to start Conference USA
play. WKU fell 3-2 and 8-7 to the Blue Raiders in a pair of one-run contests to open
the series, but salvaged a win in Sunday’s finale.
WKU reached base at a .448 clip as a team over the weekend, but 17 stranded runners
on Friday and a 4-0 deficit after the first inning Saturday set the Hilltoppers back
in the first two games.
No. 15 Louisville (16-4) comes to Bowling Green after a 2-3 week of their own. The
Cardinals opened up the season a perfect 14-0 but have lost 4-of-6 games since. They
split a two-game midweek series with No. 5 Texas Tech visiting Jim Patterson
Stadium, then won 1-of-3 games at Wake Forest in their second ACC series.
So far this season, Louisville ranks ninth in the nation with 123 walks, nearly a
1-to-1 ratio with the team’s 125 strikeouts. First baseman Logan Wyatt leads the
Cardinals with a 22-to-10 walk-to-strikeout ratio. The sophomore is slashing a
team-high .333/.495/.528 with nine doubles and 38 total bases, typically batting in
the middle of the lineup.
The visitors’ starting pitcher remains TBA at this time.