Following an exciting weekend that saw WKU Baseball take 2-of-3 at FIU to improve to 5-1 in Conference USA play, the Hilltoppers travel to Eastern Kentucky for a 3 p.m. CT first pitch on Tuesday, March 26. This is a makeup game for WKU and EKU, who were originally supposed to play at Earle Combs Stadium on March 5, but that date was postponed due to frigid temperatures.

It will be a matchup of freshman righties, as Hunter Crosby goes for the Hilltoppers and Jacob Ferris will start for the Colonels.

Crosby will make his sixth start, boasting a 1-3 record and a 6.00 earned run average. In his most recent start against Austin Peay on March 18, Crosby shut out the Governors in the first four innings before allowing two runs to begin the fifth. Ferris, meanwhile, is 2-2 this season with a 7.78 earned run average, with 21 strikeouts across 19.2 innings pitched across nine appearances — including four starts.

SERIES HISTORY

  • The Hilltoppers and Colonels will meet for the 140th time on the diamond, with the Hilltoppers holding a 75-62-2 advantage in the all-time series. WKU has a 47-21-1 record in Bowling Green, but a 28-41-1 mark in Richmond.
  • WKU and EKU’s first meeting was the first athletic event in school history, with the Hilltoppers posting a 6-0 victory, which was also a no-hitter.
  • The teams did not meet from 2013-16 — the longest series drought since 1962-70 — but have played twice in each of the past two seasons with a 2-2 mark against each other.
  • The past two games at Earle Combs Stadium have been high-scoring contests, with the Colonels winning 16-15 in 10 innings on March 8, 2017, then the Hilltoppers taking a 13-9 win last season on March 27. (2017 RECAP | 2018 RECAP).

WKU PREVIEW

  • WKU at FIU recaps: FRIDAY (L, 1-2) | SATURDAY (W, 5-4) | SUNDAY (W, 15-1 [7])
  • The Hilltoppers allowed only seven runs against the Panthers, the fewest allowed in a three-game series since March 25-27, 2016, vs. Middle Tennessee, when the Hilltoppers allowed six runs.
  • Since allowing 46 runs in a four-game stretch from March 7-13, the WKU pitching staff has allowed only 24 in the past seven contests, lowering the team earned run average from 6.41 to 5.44 in that time. In those seven games, the Hilltoppers have not allowed more than five runs.
  • Right fielder Jake Sanford was named Conference USA Hitter of the Week on Monday, the seventh WKU player to earn the award over the past five years. (STORY).
  • On Friday, pitchers Eric Crawford and Dalton Shoemake combined to allow only two runs in eight innings, but FIU lefty Logan Allen spun 8.2 frames of one-run ball to defeat the Hilltoppers by a score of 2-1.
  • On Saturday, WKU rallied from a 4-2 deficit after eight innings to score three runs in the top of the ninth and win by a score of 5-4. Hilltopper lefty Troy Newell had career-highs of 7.1 innings pitched and nine strikeouts, while only walking one and allowing two earned runs.
  • On Sunday, WKU defeated the Panthers 15-1 in seven innings to record the team’s first run-rule victory since a 17-2 win — also at FIU — on April 19, 2015. Hilltopper righty Reece Calvert pitched a complete game, facing the minimum and keeping FIU off the board in the last six frames.
  • WKU is 10-4 this season when holding opponents to six or fewer runs, 11-1 when scoring five or more runs and 7-2 when scoring first.
  • The Hilltoppers 6-2 in one-run games, 5-0 when their starting pitcher goes five-plus innings and 8-2 when out-hitting their opponent.

EASTERN KENTUCKY PREVIEW

  • EKU vs. UT Martin recaps: FRIDAY (W, 21-6) | SATURDAY (W, 14-4) | SUNDAY (W, 8-5)
  • The Colonels enter the week with a 14-10 overall record after sweeping the Skyhawks over the weekend. EKU averaged 14.3 runs per game in the series.
  • The Colonels have 60 stolen bases, which ranks sixth in Division I and is 15 more than any other Ohio Valley Conference team.
  • Nick Howie is tied for second in the OVC with seven home runs, second with a .505 on-base percentage, third with a .384 batting average, third with a .698 slugging percentage and tied for third with 23 RBI. Will Johnson leads the OVC with 17 stolen bases and 27 walks.
  • Ryland Kerr leads the OVC with 30 runs. He was named OVC Player of the Week on Monday after posting a .524 batting average, with two doubles, one triple, one home run, 10 RBI and nine runs scored.

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Baseball, follow the program via social media @WKUBaseball on Snapchat, TwitterInstagram & Facebook.
-@WKUSports-_____________________________
Bryan Fyalkowski
Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics

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