Baseball: WKU 13 Vanderbilt 6

Bowling Green, Ky. - A first-inning grand slam by right fielder Antone Towns and a seventh-inning three-run home run by second baseman Patrick Ransdell powered Western Kentucky past visiting Vanderbilt, 13-6, Wednesday at Nick Denes Field.

The win was the Hilltoppers 17th in their last 22 games and improved their record to 19-8 overall. The Commodores lost for the fifth time in their last six contests to fall to 14-9.

Towns hit a towering home run to right center field to cap off an inning that also saw Vanderbilt starter Steven Faulkner walk two and hit a batter.

After the Commodores chipped away at the Hilltoppers' lead throughout the night - even enjoying a short 6-5 lead after five and-a-half innings - Ransdell's blast in the seventh inning squelched any hopes of a Vanderbilt win. WKU scored five times in the inning off Commodore reliever Jeff Sues (2-1). Ransdell finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. Third baseman Tanner Townsend went 3-for-4 with two RBI for WKU.

Vanderbilt took an early 2-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of control problems from Hilltopper starter Grady Hinchman. VU center fielder Karl Nonemaker led off the game with a double into left-center field and shortstop Tony Mansolino followed with a single to left field. After Cesar Nicolas walked to load the bases, Nonemaker scored on a passed ball by WKU catcher Ryan Cattel. After first baseman Sean Luellwitz walked, John Kaye was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in Mansolino from third base.

After Towns' grand slam in the bottom of the first, Vanderbilt did chip the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth inning. Second baseman Chris Broadus doubled and later scored when catcher Scott Vanderhoff hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Broadus ended the day 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Vanderhoff, Nicolas and Mansolino each posted two hits at the plate.

WKU pushed the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI-single to right-center field by Ransdell.

The Commodores got a run back in the fifth inning when John Kaye's sacrifice fly to left field scored Mansolino. VU even scored twice in the sixth for a brief 6-5 lead. Vanderhoff doubled to left center to score Broadus from second base. Vanderhoff scored two batters later when Mansolino hit a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Hilltoppers immediately tied the score in the bottom of the sixth inning on a suicide sqeeze by Townsend scored left fielder Trevor Keesling. WKU then regained the lead when shortstop Travis Brown scored on the following play, an RBI-single through the middle of the infield by Cattel.

Vanderbilt pitchers entered the night first in the Southeastern Conference allowing onl

y 12 home runs on the season. The VU pitching staff also gave up a season-high eight walks.

Western Kentucky's Andy Baldwin (3-3) registered the win.

Vanderbilt's five-game road trip continues this weekend in Oxford, Miss., as the Commodores visit No. 11 Ole Miss for a three-game SEC series. Top Stories