MURRAY, Ky. - WKU wasted little time taking care of business on the road Wednesday afternoon in Murray, Ky., as the Hilltoppers used an early pair of six-run frames that proved to be more than enough, as WKU took down Murray State 14-5 in the 125th all-time meeting between the two schools. It was the 11th time this season that WKU has scored 10 or more runs in a game, including the third time in the last four contests.
The Thoroughbreds were forced to use three pitchers in just the first three innings, as WKU pounded out 12 runs off 11 hits in the second and third innings. In the second, the Hilltoppers would bat around, as Matt Rice started off the inning with a walk, followed by three-straight singles, including a Jake Wells single with the bases loaded that scored two. After a walk to Kory Petri, Matt Payton then smacked a two-RBI double down the right field line, plating two, to give WKU an early 4-1 lead. After a Jared Andreoli RBI sacrifice fly, the man that started the inning, Matt Rice, delivered a two-out, RBI single to left field, scoring Matt Payton to give the Hilltoppers a 6-1 lead.
The story was much of the same in the third, as WKU would send nine batters to the plate, en route to scoring six more runs off six hits, to open up a 12-1 lead after just three innings of play. Casey Dykes started the inning with a bang, belting his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. After Jake Wells reached on an error, Kory Petri delivered an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Wells. Petri would then score on a Logan Robbins single. Robbins would in turn steal second, advance to third on a throwing error and score on a wild pitch. Jared Andreoli, who hit just one home run in 2009, matched that total on Wednesday, hitting his first home run of 2010, a two-run shot to cap off the six-run frame.
Andreoli was one of five Hilltoppers with multi-hit performances on Wednesday, as Jake Wells led the charge with a team-high three hits, to go along with two RBI. Matt Rice extended his hitting streak to 13 games, picking up a pair of singles and an RBI from the designated hitter spot. Ryan Huck and Casey Dykes each had two hits, with Dykes driving in one.
On the mound, WKU utilized the services of seven different pitchers, with starter Brian Edelen working 3.1 innings, giving up four runs off seven hits. Edelen entered the game with a perfect 3-0 record and a stellar 0.49 ERA. Ross Hammonds, Taylor Haydel, Garrie Krueger, Scott Pedersen, Craig Stem and Phil Wetherell all combined to toss the final 5.2 innings, allowing just one run off two hits.
The Hilltoppers have now won eight-straight games on the road and it's the third time this year that WKU has had a winning streak of at least four games. The Hilltoppers have won four in a row following a 17-6 setback against Vanderbilt on March 17.
Up Next: WKU returns to Nick Denes Field Friday night for the first game of a three-game conference series against ULM. Friday's series-opener starts at 6:00 PM, game two is at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon and Sunday's series finale begins at 1:00 PM. All members of the Upward program can receive one complimentary ticket to each game of the series, and friends and family of program members can purchase additional tickets for $3 each. Also, Sunday's game is a Big Red's Rascals Day. All Rascals are specifically invited to the game and can get autographs from the team and Big Red following the game.