Western Kentucky University recorded the first 2011 win of any Kentucky Division I school with a 12-1 victory over Bowling Green State University in its season opener Friday. The Hilltoppers were led to victory by an excellent pitching performance from sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins, who surrendered just two hits in six shutout innings. Perkins struck out five batters and walked two. WKU junior right-handed pitcher Phil Wetherell surrendered one run in three innings out of the bullpen.
At the plate WKU was led by strong performances from junior left fielder Jared Andreoli, junior right fielder Ryan Hutchinson and senior catcher Matt Rice. Andreoli finished the game 3-5 with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Hutchinson was 2-4 with a walk, three RBI and a run scored. Rice finished the game 2-4 with a walk, four RBI and two runs scored. WKU junior center fielder Kes Carter scored two runs. The Hilltoppers scored single runs in the second and third innings then blew the game open with a six-run fourth inning. Andreoli tallied a two-run double and Hutchinson tallied a two-run triple in the inning. Every WKU starter except senior third baseman Casey Dykes tallied a hit, though Dykes walked three times. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball player of the game: Ryan Hutchinson — 2-4, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB