BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The 100th Season of WKU Baseball begins on today as
the Hilltoppers host in-state foe Northern Kentucky with a 1 p.m. first pitch at
Nick Denes Field. The Norse are in town for a three-game series over the weekend,
with games on Saturday and Sunday – both at 1 p.m. – to follow.
* It will be the first-ever meeting for WKU and NKU, who have never faced off on
* The Hilltoppers are coming off a 21-31 season, while the Norse finished with a
* NKU and WKU share four common non-conference opponents this season: Tennessee,
Kentucky, Louisville and Eastern Kentucky.
* WKU returns junior shortstop Kevin Lambert, who has started 100 consecutive
games at shortstop and 107 overall since he came to The Hill; he improved his
fielding percentage to .968 in 2018 from .945 in 2017. Junior Ray Zuberer III
plans to make the full-time switch to the outfield after he made a handful of
starts there in 2018; he slashed .315/.401/.430 last year with 10 extra-base hits
in 44 starts, primarily at designated hitter.
* Notable graduate transfers Davis Sims (from Murray State) and Joe Filosa (Ohio
Dominican) are primed to make their Hilltopper debuts this weekend. The infielder
Sims boasts a .333/.402/.552 career slash line with 150 base hits in 112 starts
for the Racers; he also tied for the 2018 Cape Cod League lead with eight
homeruns. Filosa posted a 15-14 record with the Panthers and a 5.02 ERA and 158
strikeouts in 204 career innings.
NORTHERN KENTUCKY PREVIEW
* NKU returns senior Will Haueter, who led the Horizon League and earned First
Team honors with a .360 batting average in 2018. He also ranked second in the
league with 19 doubles, a .451 on-base percentage and a .600 slugging percentage.
Sophomore Griffin Doersching is also a notable Norse, as he was named 2018 Horizon
League Freshman of the Year with 13 homeruns, 24 runs scored and 49 runs batted
in. He also garnered Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American and First Team
league honors in his debut season.
* NKU Baseball was named the recipient of the Horizon League’s Bobby Fong Award
in 2018, which recognizes a student-athlete or team which encompasses the values
of integrity, respect and stewardship.
* The Norse are led by 19th-season head coach Todd Asalon, who has piled up a
532-496-1 record with the program. He and assistant coaches Dizzy Peyton and Pat
Hyde are all alumni of the university.
* Friday: Free schedule magnets for the first 250 fans & National Anthem by Rye
Davis (see below)
* Saturday: Free admission for all fans.
* Sunday Funday: Children aged 12 and under receive free admission, and a kid’s
lunch special that includes a hot dog, bag of chips and can of soda will be $5.
After the game, children are invited to run the bases with Big Red.
* Fresh off being named to the Hilltopper Baseball All-Century Team, former WKU
reliever – and current country music artist – Rye Davis will be in town to sing
the National Anthem on Opening Day. Davis ranks third in program history with 16
career saves. He led the club with four saves in 2008, then returned from injury
to record a team-high nine in 2010, earning All-Sun Belt Conference honors.
* Rye Davis has performed hundreds of shows nationwide over the past five years.
In that time he has opened for names like The Steel Woods, Ted Nugent, Chris
Knight, Sunny Sweeney, Emi Sunshine, Dallas Moore, Whitey Morgan, Ward Davis,
Bucky Covington, Puddle of Mudd and Uncle Cracker. He has been an invited
performer at Nashville’s famous Bluebird Cafe and was featured on ABC’s Rising