After three-and-a-half hours, WKU Baseball and Middle Tennessee were called off the field due to lightning in the area with the score tied 9-9 in the bottom of the 10th inning. The contest will be completed starting at 12 noon on Sunday, March 26, with the third game of the series to follow.
There have been five lead changes and six tie scores, as the teams have combined for 18 runs on 22 hits, 10 walks and 8 hit by pitches thus far.
It was the Kaleb Duckworth show early, as the designated hitter began the game with a double to left-center field on the first pitch from Blue Raiders’ righty Tyler Hasper. He scored the first Hilltoppers’ run on an error and added the second in via a solo homerun to begin the third.
With WKU (8-15, 2-2) trailing 4-3 to begin the sixth, Colie Currie homered to right-center to knot it back up. Leiff Clarkson, who brought in the Hilltoppers’ third run of the game with an RBI single in the fourth, doubled down the left field line to start a two-out rally. Duckworth came up with his third hit of the game, a single over the second baseman, to drive in Clarkson for a 5-4 lead.
Middle Tennessee (8-12, 0-4) plated a run in the bottom half of the inning, then the two clubs matched each other with one apiece in the seventh.
Things got a bit crazy in the ninth, with the score tied 6-6 and WKU’s 3-4-5 hitters heading to the plate. Thomas Peter started it off with a single to left, and he was chased home by Hunter Wood’s first-career triple over the first base bag. Currie fouled a pitch deep enough down the left-field line for Wood to come in on a sacrifice fly, then Steven Kraft – who reached on a hit by pitch earlier in the inning – scampered home on a wild pitch to give the Hilltoppers a three-run lead.
Jackson Sowell came out for the final frame, allowing only one unearned run in 2.2 innings of relief to that point. The senior struck out the leadoff hitter Blake Benefield, but he reached on a strike-three swinging wild pitch.
With the bases loaded two hitters later, in came Conner Boyd to try and close it out. The junior from Smyrna, Tennessee, had stranded 20-of-23 inherited runners coming into the situation, but a walk and two-run single by the Blue Raiders put the game in jeopardy for the visitors. But Boyd clamped down with runners on first and third with no outs, forcing two pop-ups not deep enough to score the game-winning run.
Middle Tennessee tried to score on the second pop-up, but second baseman Tyler Robertson threw a rope from beyond the infield dirt behind first base to the catcher Wood, who tagged out Devin Conn at the plate.
The Hilltoppers had the bases loaded in the top of the 10th, but failed to convert. Boyd came back out for the bottom half and induced a ground ball to short before lightning struck in the vicinity and the umpires called both teams off the field.
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Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics