EKU Falls At Home Splits Series With Western Kentucky

In college sports there are some rivalries that are intense, 
Kentucky/Louisville, North Carolina/Duke, Michigan/Ohio State but none are as 
intense as EKU and Western Kentucky. These two school could match up in a game 
of Monopoly and it would be a battle. 
The Colonels (9-15 2-4) enter the game off a series win over Morehead State 
taking two of three over the weekend. The Hilltoppers (12-12 3-3)  come in 
taking two of three at Rice. These teams matched up earlier this season in 
Bowling Green with the Colonels winning 7-5 back on March 13th.Western Kentucky 
leads the series against the Colonels 74-62.  EKU is 6-1 at home on the season. 
The Colonels ran freshman Will Bryan (2-1 4.91 ERA) out to face the Toppers. The 
lefty started the game allowing a walk and then a base hit. Junior Jacob 
Rhinesmith hit a monster three run homer to center, his 9th on the season,  and 
WKU is up 3-0. Next hitter laced a double down the left field line and followed 
by back to back singles bringing in another run to make it 4-0 with still no 
outs. Coach Thompson makes a pitching change to another freshman Darren Williams 
and he is able to get out the jam and after a half inning it was 4-0. Bottom 
half of the first Cornell Nixon drew a lead off walk and stole second base, 
making him 13-14 on the season in steals, but e was picked off. After Nixon was 
picked off a base it and a double from All OVC player Alex Holderbach put the 
Colonels in scoring position. Chris Botsoe, red shirt sophomore, lined a double 
to score two runs, his 19th and 20th RBI of the season, making it 4-2. A two out 
base hit from Nick Howie drives in a run and runs the Hilltopper pitcher after 
2/3 of an inning. After one inning Western led 4-3. 
Second inning saw Western Kentucky Steven Kraft hit a no doubter over the left 
field wall to drive in 2 runs and make it 6-3. Home half of the second inning 
saw back to back walks for the Colonels and a three run home run from Holderbach 
ties the game at 6. The wind is blowing out and like last seasons game here in 
Richmond that went to extra's and was 16-15 this one looks like a repeat. 
The third inning saw something we hadn't seen yet, a perfect half inning. Nick 
Laster was able to put the Hilltoppers down 1,2,3. Neither team got much going 
until EKU got an RBI single from Ryland Kerr to give the Colonels their first 
lead of the game. The lead was short lived as Rhinesmith led off the top of the 
5th with a triple and scored on a ground out to tie the game once again at 7. 
Colin Butkiewicz with a two out single drives in two runs and gives Western 
Kentucky a 9-7 lead going in to the bottom of the 5th inning. Bottom of the 5th 
saw EKU get a couple of base runners with one out but Western was able to once 
again get of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning. 
Bottom of the sixth Cornell Nixon with a dying line drive that fell in for a 
base hit led off the inning. He stole second base and advanced to third on a 
throwing error from the catcher. He later scored on a sac fly from Kerr to get 
the Colonels within a run at 9-8 after six complete. In the top of the eighth 
Western Kentucky gets a gift, a fly ball to center is caught up in the wind, and 
dropped by the center fielder and allowed a run to score. Tyler Robertson 
followed that up with a single scoring the second unearned run of the inning. 
After 7 1/2 Western Leads 11-8. Home half of the 8th saw EKU get the bases 
loaded with two outs and they were able to get one run and cut the Western lead 
to two, 11-9 ending to the 9th. Top of the 9th WKU got a couple of runners and a 
bunt back to the pitcher saw Andrew McWhorther go to third base for the force 
attempt but an errant throw pulls the third baseman off the bag loading the 
bases. McWhorther induces a double play but a run comes across the plate making 
it 12-9 and Ray Zuberer with a double makes it 13-9. Couple of walks loaded the 
bases but Bryan Quillens, senior righty who replaced McWhorther, struck out 
Robertson to leave the bases loaded. Western with a perfect bottom of the 9th to 
win it 13-9 over the Colonels. 
With the win EKU and WKU split the series. In a game that took nearly four hours 
and saw 16  pitchers combined, 16 hits for Western and 14 for the Colonels. EKU 
commit three errors on the afternoon. Colonels go on the road this weekend to 
play an OVC tournament series at Tennesse-Martin. They return home on April 6th 
for a series with SIU Edwardsville.