BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Western Kentucky University left fielder David Simmons went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs to lead the Hilltoppers in an 11-7 victory over in-state rival Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night at Nick Denes Field.
WKU (22-30) exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the second inning to pull in front for good after Eastern Kentucky (28-21) took an early lead with a pair of runs in the top of the inning. The Hilltoppers added three insurance runs in the eighth.
"I saw something tonight that excites me," WKU coach Matt Myers said. "It was a really good offensive night tonight for us. I was excited to see us come out and score eight. I'm excited with the offensive approach because we are going to need it. Middle (Tennessee) can pitch and you are going to need to score some runs against them."
Freshman right-hander Brennan Pearson (2-2) did not allow a hit over 4-1/3 scoreless innings in relief with a pair of walks and two strikeouts.
EKU starter Nick Bozman (2-1) allowed four runs on four hits with two walks in 1-1/3 innings.
Along with Simmons, designated hitter Blake Crabtree drove in a pair of runs with a single and a sacrifice fly. Center fielder Jared Andreoli and first baseman Ryan Huck each tallied a pair of hits. Seven different Hilltoppers drove in at least one run in the game.
The Colonels took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a two-run triple by shortstop Richie Rodrigues.
WKU jumped in front 8-2 after it sent 13 batters to the plate in an eight-run bottom of the second inning. An RBI double by third baseman Casey Dykes along with run-scoring singles by Crabtree, Huck and Simmons highlighted the inning. The eight runs were the most scored in an inning by the Hilltoppers this season.
EKU tallied three runs in the top of the third inning to cut the advantage to 8-5. A two-run single by designated hitter Shaun Ball and second baseman Dustin Dunlop scoring on a fielding error by Dykes accounted for the scoring.
The Hilltoppers added three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. After an RBI single by Simmons, Huck scored on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Crabtree drove in the final run to extend the lead to 11-5.
Eastern Kentucky scored single runs in the eighth and ninth inning on sacrifice flies by Rodrigues an pinch hitter Alex Hughes, respectively.
Right-hander Colton Satterlee gave up five runs - four earned - on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2-2/3 innings in his first start as a Hilltopper. Freshman Ian Tompkins was touched for a run in the eighth as did redshirt freshman Tate Glasscock in the ninth.
The Hilltoppers close the regular season with a three-game series against Middle Tennessee beginning Tuesday. Game times are scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Nick Denes Field. WKU's five seniors will be honored prior to Saturday's home finale.