Feb. 23, 2014
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Baseball scored in six of its eight innings at the plate against UNC Asheville (1-3) Sunday afternoon, exploding for 13 runs to complete its sweep of the Bulldogs with a 13-2 win at Nick Denes Field.
The Hilltoppers’ victory improved their record to 5-2 on the season, marking the sixth time in the past eight seasons that WKU has jumped out to a 5-2 start. WKU’s 13 runs were the most since plating 13 against VMI on March 8, 2013 and its 18 hits were the most since racking up 19 against Southern Illinois on Feb. 24, 2012.
Five different Hilltoppers finished the contest with multiple hits, including juniors Ryan Church and Ty Downing who both finished the day 2-of-4 at the plate with a combined seven RBI. Downing ripped a pair of RBI doubles to the right center gap in the fourth in fifth innings while Church provided RBI in the first, fifth and sixth innings.
Senior second baseman Scott Wilcox recorded his third multi-hit game of the series with a 2-of-4 effort at the plate Sunday, finishing the series 8-of-13 at the dish with three RBI, a home run and a double. Wilcox now has 49 career multi-hit performances.
Church got the big scoring day going for WKU right away, plating junior shortstop Cody Wofford with an RBI sacrifice fly to make the count 1-0 in the first inning. Wofford previously led off the inning with a triple and finished his day 4-of-4 at the plate with three runs scored.
With the scored knotted at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Downing delivered the first of his two RBI doubles to score sophomore third baseman Thomas Peter from second base. Church and Downing blew the game open in the fifth inning, with Church launching a two-run homer over the left field wall and Downing knocking two more runs in with a bases-clearing double to make the score 7-1, WKU. Church plated Wofford again in the sixth inning to spark the Hilltoppers’ four-run frame.
Leading 8-2 after Church’s fourth RBI in the sixth inning, freshman Paul Murray recorded his first career hit and RBI with a two-run single that scored Church and Wilcox. Senior David Simmons finished off WKU’s second big inning with an RBI double deep in the left field corner.
Senior right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson (2-0) registered his second-straight win after allowing one run and striking out three in five innings of work. WKU’s youngsters in the bullpen were very effective behind Thompson, with freshman Cody Coll, Ben Morrison and Ryan Thurston teaming with sophomore Alex Mercer to scatter four hits and one run over the final four innings. Coll tossed the sixth and seventh innings, striking out a pair of batters and giving up one run.
WKU begins its four-game road swing Tuesday at undefeated No.6 Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. First pitch time is set for 4 p.m. (CT) as the Hilltoppers will send sophomore right-hander Josh Bartley to the mound for his first start of 2014. For more information on WKU Baseball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUBaseball or visit WKUSports.com.
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