BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Baseball hosts its first of four home midweek games of the
2019 season on Wednesday, Feb. 27, as the Hilltoppers will face Murray State for a 3
p.m. first pitch at Nick Denes Field. WKU comes in with a 5-2 record, having reached
five wins in seven games or fewer in 3-of-4 campaigns under head coach John
Pawlowski; the Hilltoppers started out with a 5-2 mark in 2018 and a 7-1 tally in
* It will be the 133rd all-time meeting for WKU and Murray State; the
Hilltoppers lead by an ultra-slim margin of 66-65-1.
* The series dates back to 1932. WKU held a 30-14 advantage up until the 1960
season, then the Racers posted a 49-17-1 mark against the Hilltoppers from
1961-1980. But since the 1980 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, played at Nick
Denes Field, WKU holds a 19-2 advantage over Murray State.
* The Hilltoppers boast a 38-25-1 record in Bowling Green, while the Racers hold
a 40-28 advantage in Murray.
* WKU vs. Eastern Illinois weekend series recaps: SUNDAY (W, 10-9  & W,
* The Hilltoppers took 2-of-3 games from the visiting Panthers. WKU improved to
14-5 all-time against the Panthers, with the teams playing for the first time in
exactly 28 years. The Hilltoppers recorded their third doubleheader sweep in the
past two years after not recording any in 2016 or 2017. In the all-time series
against EIU, WKU now has five doubleheader sweeps out of six tries.
* In a 10-9 victory in Game 1 of the doubleheader, the Hilltoppers had their
second walk-off win in the 10th frame in which they did not have a base hit,
matching their 5-4 victory over Northern Kentucky on Feb. 16. In a 5-4 win in Game
2, WKU improved to 3-0 on the short season in one-run contests.
* WKU has yet to announce a starting pitcher, but freshman Hunter Crosby toes
the rubber in the team’s first midweek game on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Lipscomb. The
righty went two-plus innings and allowed two unearned runs, throwing 28-of-49
pitches for strikes on a cold day in Nashville.
MURRAY STATE PREVIEW
* The Racers sit at 2-5 through seven games in the 2019 campaign. Although
Murray State is only hitting .235, the team has hit nine homeruns by six different
players, including four different Racers with two dingers apiece. Leadoff hitter
Ryan Perkins leads the team with a .296/.400/.596 slash line, six runs scored and
six batted in.
* Righty Joe Ivey will get the start on the mound for Murray State. The junior
has made two appearances thus far and boasts a 1-0 record despite allowing six
runs in 4.1 frames. In the back end of the bullpen, reliever Peyton Hayes has
earned saves in both of the Racers’ wins thus far and boasts a 1.80 earned run
average with five strikeouts in five innings
* Murray State is led by first-year head coach Dan Skirka, who is in his first
season as a Division I head coach. Skirka was an assistant coach for the Racers
from 2009-14, then went to Walters State Community College, where he was a
recruiting coordinator from 2015-18. Former Hilltopper outfielder Colie Currie and
current WKU relief pitcher Reese Brewer were both Senators while Skirka was in
The Hilltoppers travel to Pensacola, Fla., for the 2019 Cox Diamond Invitational
from March 1-3, which includes neutral-site games against North Florida, Louisiana
Monroe and Tennessee. All three games will have live stats and audio from the
Hilltopper-IMG Sports Network.