A good crowd (603 announced) showed up in Bowling Green to watch the Hilltoppers take on number 1 ranked Vanderbilt. Probably 200 more lined the area along side the field and watched from over the fences.
"Big Red" is the Western Kentucky mascot. This must be what a Hilltopper actually looks like.
By the 4th inning Vanderbilt led 4-2. Vandy's Mike Minor had another great showing but commented after the game that he was "up in the zone," which resulted in a 2-run homer by WKU's Scott Kaskie in the 3rd inning that tied the score momentarily. Minor finished with an impressive 7 stikeouts in 5 2/3 innings and gave up 7 hits. Unofficially, VandyMania counted 80 pitches with 37 strikes, 25 balls, 7 hits and 9 others (ground outs, fly balls, 2 strike fouls etc.).
Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin looks over his notes. That's pitcher David Price to his right.
Ty Davis came in for Minor late in the sixth inning. He had a key strikeout to end a Hilltopper scoring threat in that inning.
As the evening grew later- and the temperature dropped! - some WKU fans decided they'd had enough and headed for the exits. They missed out on their team nearly beating the nation's top ranked baseball squad.
Brad French watches over a Hilltopper base runner. "Frenchy" played well at first and had a nice sacrifice that scored Andrew Giobbi in the fifth inning. French also stroked one good to left field in the fourth inning, everyone in the stadium thought it was a hit including Dominic de la Osa who was out for not tagging up.
Senior pitcher Stephen Shao came in for Davis in the bottom of the eighth. Shao pitched 2/3 of an innning and allowed no hits while preserving his 1.50 ERA.
David Macias gets ready to run.
Catcher Shea Robin had a good game, getting 2 hits, 2 RBIs and a walk in 4 at bats. On defense he had a nice foul ball catch just next to the out of play area.
Commodores watch intently from their dugout during the ninth inning when WKU had the bases loaded and the winning run at the plate. Thankfully relief pitcher Casey Weathers came through and got it done when it counted.