Western Kentucky upsets No. 4 Vanderbilt 3-2

Posted on 25 February 2014 by Allen


WKU Baseball scored three runs in the first five innings at No. 4 Vanderbilt Tuesday night and the Hilltoppers (6-2) would never relinquish their lead as they took down the Commodores 3-2 for their highest-ranked win in program history.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Josh Bartley tossed a career-high six innings and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, holding a Vanderbilt (7-1) offense averaging seven runs a game to three hits and two runs. Bartley retired 13-straight batters between the first and fifth innings and struck out a career high four batters. Bartley picked up the third win of his career, which have all come against Top 10 nationally ranked teams.

WKU has now defeated eight Top 25 teams since 2008, five of which have been ranked Top 10. No. 4 Vanderbilt represents the highest ranked team the Hilltoppers have ever defeated. Head coach Matt Myers has been at the helm for four of those wins, as WKU has knocked off No. 8 Louisville, No. 8/No. 24 Kentucky and now No. 4 Vanderbilt.

Senior second baseman Scott Wilcox and freshman Hunter Wood provided the offensive spark early, with both rapping out two hits and combining for three RBI in the first five innings. Wilcox finished the night 2-of-5 at the plate with two RBI, marking his 50th career multiple hit game and 13th career multi-RBI effort.

The Hilltoppers held Vanderbilt scoreless until the sixth inning when the Commodores plated a pair of runs via Xander Wiel’s two-run double to left field. WKU ran into a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning after four walks from the Hilltopper bullpen, but junior Brandon Allen popped Bryan Reynolds up to first baseman Ryan Church to get WKU out of the frame unscathed.

Allen retired two more batters in the eighth before junior closer Ian Tompkins came in to shut the door on the Commodores. Tompkins, a NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List member, struck out Ro Coleman to end the eighth and took the Commodores down in order during the ninth to earn his fourth save of the year. Tompkins leads the Sun Belt Conference with four saves and has not surrendered an earned run in his last 10 appearances dating back to April 28, 2013.

Sophomore Trevor Lowe continued his hot streak at the plate with another career-high tying three hits, finishing his night 3-of-4 with a run scored. Junior Philip Diedrick recorded a pair of hits as well, including his first career triple.

The Hilltoppers pounded out 10 hits versus a Vanderbilt pitching staff that entered the game holding batters to a .139 batting average. WKU did not record an error for the third- consecutive game and has now strung together four-straight games with 10 hits or more.

WKU puts its 6-2 record to the test against stiff competition this weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic, as the Hilltoppers face East Carolina Friday, Ohio State Saturday and Pittsburgh on Sunday in Greenville, N.C. For more information on WKU Baseball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUBaseball or visit WKUSports.com.

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Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24