The Falcon baseball team was swept by the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, falling 5-4 and 9-3 in a doubleheader on Saturday, also losing 17-5 on Friday.
In the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, Western Kentucky took a 3-0 lead in the first with a two run homer and an RBI single, followed up in the third with another RBI single to make it a 4-0 game. However, the Falcons were able to cut the lead in half with an RBI sacrifice fly from senior infielder Randy Righter in the fifth, followed with an RBI groundout from junior outfielder RJ Williams in the sixth to make it a 4-2 game. While Western Kentucky got a key insurance run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI sacrifice fly, the Falcons responded in the seventh with freshman infielder Dylan Dohanos getting his first collegiate RBIs on a two RBI single. However, it would not be enough as Western Kentucky held on for the final two innings to take it 5-4.
The second game of the doubleheader began with Western Kentucky getting a solo home run in the first inning, however the Falcons were able to respond in the second inning as junior catcher Jeff Scott got an RBI groundout, followed by senior infielder Derek Drewes coming home on a wild pitch, capped off by an RBI single from junior infielder Gama Martinez to give the team a 3-1 lead. However, Western Kentucky came back with an offensive charge of their own in the bottom of the inning with a three RBI double and two run homer making it a 6-3 game. Western Kentucky would add another run in the fourth with another solo homer, followed by an RBI double in the sixth and an RBI single in the eighth to give them the 9-3 win.
“I thought that we gave ourselves a chance to win two games today,” Schmitz said. “But we still have to be able to execute when it matters most.”
Friday’s game started out with Western Kentucky again jumping out to an early lead in the first inning on a three RBI double and an RBI groundout to make it 4-0. The second inning would see Western Kentucky add to their advantage more with an RBI single, a two RBI single and another pair of RBI singles to make it a 9-0 game, forcing the Falcons into an early pitching change. In the top of the third inning, however, the Falcons were able to get a run across on an RBI double from junior infielder Neil Lambert, but Western Kentucky plated seven more runs in the bottom of the inning to put themselves ahead 16-1. Western Kentucky tacked on another run in the fourth on a solo home run and while the Falcons were able to close the gap a bit with a pair of runs in the seventh and ninth innings, Western Kentucky still held on to take the 17-5 victory.
“We gave them extra outs in the first inning,” Schmitz said. “You don’t want to do that right out of the onset, but Western Kentucky swung the bats well in the first three innings and built up a big lead... In the second half of the game I thought we played well, but after three innings the game was pretty much over.”
The team will next play on Tuesday afternoon in their first home game of the season against the Fort Wayne Mastodons.