TROY, Ala. - With five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Troy rallied to hand the Western Kentucky University baseball team a 6-3 loss on Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
With WKU leading 2-1 in the top of the seventh, the Trojans tallied five unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to take a four-run lead and never trailed again.
With an RBI in the first inning, senior catcher Matt Rice became WKU's all-time leader with 209 career RBIs, passing Mike Williams who played from 1978-81. Rice is now the school record holder for both hits and RBIs in a career.
Troy (28-10, 12-4) keeps its hold on first place in the conference behind a complete game from starting pitcher Tyler Ray. Ray improves to 9-0 on the season after limiting WKU to three runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Hilltoppers starter Tanner Perkins (6-2) allowed six runs - one earned - on five hits in seven innings. The sophomore struck out six and walked three. In one stretch, he retired 15 of 16 batters he faced. Freshman right-hander Brian Doering worked a scoreless eighth.
WKU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI groundout by Rice.
The Hilltoppers added a run in the second on a solo home run by first baseman Ryan Huck, his third of the season.
Troy cut the WKU lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by designated hitter Josh McDorman, his first of the year.
The Trojans rallied with five unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to jump in front 6-2. With two outs in the inning, two runs scored on an error by the center fielder. Center fielder Ali Knowles and third baseman Tyler Hannah each followed with RBIs single. First baseman Logan Pierce drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in the fifth run of the frame.
A pinch-hit RBI double by freshman Scott Wilcox cut the Troy lead to 6-3 in the top of the eighth.
The two teams return to action at 6 p.m. Saturday with WKU sending freshman right-hander Justin Hageman (6-3, 2.44 ERA) against Troy left-hander Ryan Score (4-3, 3.35).