Western Kentucky Handles Louisville in Mid-Week Matchup

Western Kentucky

Photo Courtesy Western Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Western Kentucky (21-7) rolled into Louisville on Wednesday and put together strong performances on the mound, at the plate, and on defense, to defeat the red-hot No. 3 ranked Louisville Cardinals (31-10) convincingly 7-3 at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The Hilltoppers’ starting pitcher, junior RHP Josh Bartley (5-3), pitched a solid 4.0 innings to pick up the win. The Bowling Green native only allowed three hits, while giving up just one run and one walk, with one strike out.

“I felt great, I had a lot of confidence going in to the start,” Bartley told College Baseball Central. “I was just trying to attack the zone low, I wasn’t trying to strike anybody out, and I was just trying to get them to hit them to our defense to help me out.”

Junior infielder Danny Hudzina paced the Hilltopper hitting with a 2-for-4 outing. Collecting one RBI and two runs as senior first baseman Ryan Church added one RBI, a double, and a run scored while going 2-for-4 on the day.

“We knew we had a tough task ahead of us coming into a top five ranked team,” Hudzina told College Baseball Central. “This gives us confidence against anybody, they’re one of the better teams in the country and we put the bat on the ball really well, and swung really good against them.”

Cardinal center fielder Corey Ray, third baseman Zach Lucas, and first baseman Danny Rosenbaum each contributed one RBI in the losing effort.

WKU racked up 11 hits against a Cardinal pitching staff that has been stingy all year.

Charged with the loss, freshman RHP Lincoln Henzman (3-1) got touched for seven of those hits, giving up seven runs (five earned), and one walk in 4.0 innings pitched.

The Cardinals were never in this game, with WKU jumping out early and scoring two runs in the first inning, one run in the third, and pouring on four more scores in the fourth frame. Louisville scored one run in the fourth inning, and the late rally fell short with the Cards scoring one in the eighth frame and their last run in the ninth.

Splendid defense was on display as well for WKU, which had 13 assists, and turned two double plays totaling a .976 fielding percentage.

“We created some opportunities, and we took advantage of some other opportunities,” said WKU Head Coach Matt Myers. “They had some miscues that you don’t see their guys do, and we took advantage of it.”

Kevin Elder, Jackson Sowell, Tate Glasscock, and Ben Morrison all provided relief innings for WKU, combining for three strike outs, while only giving up two runs and three walks, in shutting down one of the hottest hitting line ups in all of college baseball.

About the Author

Matthew Gray
Matthew Gray is a national writer for College Baseball Central and a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, granting him an official vote annually on which coaches and players will be inducted. Matthew is also a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, which gives him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy (Player of the Year), Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. Matthew is college baseball's go to source for exclusive player, coach, scout and executive interview based articles. He is at the forefront of prospect knowledge in the nation, and owns a strong managerial and professional background which includes over 25 years of experience as an author, scout, coach and athlete. Matthew has two daughters, Shelby, and Michelle. Follow Matthew on Twitter @CBCBaseball95