Baseball: Western overpowers Illinois-Chicago

Western answered a seven-hit loss to Belmont last Wednesday with a season-high 18 against Illinois-Chicago Friday, running away with a 14-4 win in the first of a three-game series.

Four different Toppers recorded at least three hits and the lineup was led by left fielder Monte Ketchum, who scored a three-run homerun, a double, and finished with three runs scored.

Senior second baseman Matt Payton and sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins each homered for the second straight home game. The bottom four players in the lineup combined for 11 hits.

“The bottom of the order was much more productive,” Head Coach Chris Finwood said. “We got a lot more out of them.”

Western put up multiple runs in five straight innings starting in the second inning.

“I thought today we hung in there better,” Finwood said. “We didn’t have a lot of great swings, but we had a lot more good ones.”

Senior pitcher Matt Ridings gave up four runs in six innings, earning his second win of the year. Ridings is now one win away from tying Ryan Hutchison for most pitching victories in Western history with 28.

“He wasn’t super sharp but he mixed his pitches and threw strikes for the most part,” Finwood said.

Junior Scott Pederson and freshman Caleb Hanes pitched the last three innings and didn’t give up a run.

The Toppers are back in action against Illinois-Chicago at 2 p.m. Fridayat Denes Field.

Mike Stunson

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