What began as a pitcher’s duel, turned into a high-scoring affair Tuesday night in the rain at Reagan Field thanks to one big inning each from Murray State and Western Kentucky as the Racers fell, 8-5 in a rain-shortened game in Murray.
MSU starter Austin Dubsky pitched six scoreless innings, allowed just four hits while striking out seven in the contest while WKU starter Jeff Ciocco worked 5.1 innings, allowed two runs off two hits, and struck-out three batters on the night.
After five and a half scoreless innings on the night, the Racers were able to bust the game open with a five-run bottom of the sixth inning. Brandon Gutzler got MSU (16-20) going with an RBI single to right center field that scored Ryan Perkins. In the next at-bat, a Jack Hranec single through the right side made it 2-0 Racers as Adam Bauer scored from third. Then, MSU lengthened its lead after back-to-back hit by pitches to Kipp Moore and Davis Sims scored Gutzler and Hranec. The Racers concluded the scoring with a sacrifice fly RBI to left field by Jaron Robinson, which brought home Tyler Lawrence.
The lead would not last for long though as the Hilltoppers (12-25) would rally with a six-run top of the seventh inning to take the lead. WKU would go on to add runs in both the eighth and ninth innings on wild pitches. After the Hilltoppers scored their final run, the game was called due to heavy rain.
Luke Brown took the loss for MSU as the Racer bullpen failed to preserve the lead. Brown allowed two runs on two hits and had a pair of walks in 0.1 innings. Chad Gendron, Caleb Hicks, Tyler Horsley and Derrik Watson all appeared in relief and gave up runs in the loss.
Gutzler was the only Racer to have multiple hits in the loss as he went 2-for-4 in the contest. Bauer was 1-of-3 with a walk and Lawrence reached base twice on a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
The Racers return to conference play this weekend as Southeast Missouri comes to town for a three-game set. Weather permitting, the series will begin Friday at 6 p.m.
by Kevin DeVries