Playing from behind was the story of the day for WKU, and they just couldn’t catch up, as the Hilltoppers clinched their first Sun Belt series loss in four series with an 8-5 fallback in game two against Texas Arlington.
UT-Arlington’s offense picked up where it left off last night, and rallied for five runs in the first, putting up a lone run in the third, and a two run homer in the fourth kept the Hilltoppers from attaining the much needed win.
The Tops would lead the hitting category with 13 balls hit into play, but would only be able to cross the plate five times. The main offensive forces for WKU were Scott Wilcox as he had five at bats with two runs and a hit, as well as Leiff Clarkson’s with three at bats and two runs on two hits. What makes the loss worse was the Tops put up the first run of the ballgame, on the board first as Ryan Church doubled and sent Wilcox across the plate from first in the first. Wilcox also smacked his 3rd homer of the year to etch away a portion of the 5-1 deficit in the third.
As for the defensive side of things Josh Bartley received the loss on the day as he started out the first three innings and allowed 8 runs on 10 hits, while also striking out three batters who stepped up to the plate. Freshman Ryan Thurston continued to show his effectiveness and potential as he pitched the final 5 innings. Despite Thurston only having one strikeout, he didn’t allow a single batter to cross the plate and only allowed two hits, continuing his great freshman year – Thurston has only allowed 3 runners to score in his last 28 innings pitched, not too shabby for a freshman.
With the win, the Mavericks have won 9 out of their last 11 games and continue to show dominance in the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers will take the field this afternoon to try and salvage the series behind hot handed Jake Thompson to try and avoid the sweep. Thompson has struck out 16 batters in his last two starts.