Monthly Archives: May 2010

Slaughter working out in preparation for NBA Draft

Western’s media relations department sent out a release Tuesday on senior guard A.J. Slaughter’s run to the June 24 NBA draft.

Slaughter has worked out with a number of NBA squads and, according to the release, could end up working with as many as 17 teams before the draft.

Although Slaughter told the Herald last month that he had signed with Stu Lash of BEST, the same organization that represents Courtney Lee, the release now lists Slaughter’s agent as Lance Young of Octagon Sports. Young represents players such as Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Rudy Gay.

Former Western standout Tyrone Brazelton is also under the Octagon umbrella.

To read the release in full, click here.

-Jonathan Lintner

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WKU SGA sponsoring T-shirt drive

Western’s Student Government Association is hoping to spread the reach of Red Towel Territory.

The effort will start right in its backyard.

SGA President-Elect Colton Jesse said students can receive a free Western T-shirt this Wednesday from 12 a.m.-2 a.m. on one condition — that they give up a shirt from another school in exchange.

According to the group’s Facebook page, shirts will be handed out at the Java City in the library. A May 4 Herald article adds that the shirt exchange will continue in the SGA offices throughout finals week.

Jonathan Lintner

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BASEBALL: Tops fall to UALR, lose first home series in two years

Home wasn’t so sweet for Western this weekend, and right now nowhere is.

The Toppers (32-18, 13-11 Sun Belt Conference) fell 4-2 to Arkansas-Little Rock Sunday afternoon, losing their first home series since March 21-23, 2008, against Troy.

“I’m sure our guys feel as bad about it as I do,” Head Coach Chris Finwood said. “I didn’t think the effort wasn’t there today. We just have to figure out how to get some good pitches to swing at and do something with them when we get them.”

Western’s offense totaled only seven hits for the game, getting its only two runs of the game in the first and ninth innings. The Tops threatened in the sixth inning, but freshman right fielder Blake Crabtree grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

“We aren’t swinging the bats well enough to win,” Finwood said. “We didn’t give ourself enough chances.”

Rice led the Toppers with three hits and an RBI single. Freshman Ryan Huck had the other RBI with a home run.

Junior Brian Edelen struggled with his command for his second straight start. Seven runners got on base against him as he threw 60 total pitches in just 2.2 innings.

Rice said the pitching was well enough to win, but the offense did not support them.

“I think giving up four runs on a Sunday is good enough to win, but we have to score more runs,” Rice said.

The Trojans came into the weekend in second to last in the Sun Belt at 5-14, but in knocking off Western on Saturday and Sunday, the Trojans earned their first league series win of the year.

Western has now lost 11 of its last 17 games

“You have to try and make it go your way,” Rice said. “But right now it isn’t really working for us.”

Mike Stunson

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BASEBALL: Tops fall in extras again, this time to UALR

It’s no secret that the Toppers have suffered through extra-inning woes this season. How to solve those struggles, however, remains unknown.

After the Tops scored two runs in the ninth inning to tie the game, sophomore closer Rye Davis gave up two runs in the 11th inning as Western went on to lose 8-6 to Arkansas-Little Rock.

The loss marks the Tops’ fourth straight defeat in extra innings.

“We had our chances to win,” senior second baseman Matt Payton said. “They just ended up being the team getting the hits to win.”

Western began the game by scoring three runs in the first two innings but then struggled to get any more off Trojans’ starter Golden Daniel. Daniel left the mound after pitching 7.1 innings, giving up only those three earned runs after coming into the game with an ERA of 7.01

“He’s an average college pitcher who we made look a lot better than he was,” Head Coach Chris Finwood said.

After Daniel exited the game, sophomore catcher Matt Rice and sophomore third baseman Casey Dykes drove runs home to tie the game at six. Rice was stranded at second to end the ninth inning.

The Trojans offense was consistent throughout, scoring in seven of the 11 innings. Senior Shane Cameron lasted four innings as he gave up four earned runs. Davis was put into the game in the 10th, and after retiring that side in order, he ran into trouble in the 11th, giving up three hits and two walks in the inning to earn the loss.

“We didn’t do enough to win,” Finwood said. “We aren’t playing like a team that wants to win the Sun Belt championship.”

Payton led the Toppers’ attack with three hits and two runs while Rice had two RBI.

Western won its first two extra-inning games of the year but have dropped their last four — all which have been since April 16.

The Tops bring junior Brian Edelen to the mound at 1 p.m. Sunday in the final game of the series.

Mike Stunson

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BASEBALL: Three-run ninth inning gives Western a win over UALR

The Topper offense bailed out senior pitcher Matt Ridings in what was close to being a disappointing loss.

Junior catcher Matt Rice drove home two runs with a double in the ninth and sophomore third baseman Casey Dykes brought in Rice with a sacrifice fly to give Western (32-16, 13-9 Sun Belt Conference) a 5-4 walk-off victory over Arkansas-Little Rock Friday night at Denes Field.

“We put our one good inning of the game together there in the ninth and were able to fight there and win it,” Head Coach Chris Finwood said.

Ridings did not allow a hit until the sixth inning and struck out 10 on the night, but the game caught up to him in the eighth inning when the first three Trojan batters reached base. Two of them scored before senior pitcher Bart Carter was put into the game. Carter then gave up a two-run home run, putting Ridings in line for the loss after the eighth.

“It’s a shame he didn’t get the win tonight because he was outstanding,” Rice said. “He had all three pitches working in the zone and was staying behind even when we were making errors.”

But Rice and Dykes had the big hits in the ninth to make sure Ridings did not get the loss for the game.

“We had to do everything we could to get that win,” Dykes said. “Going into the ninth we knew we had to get it done.”

Senior second baseman Matt Payton and sophomore left fielder Jared Andreoli had the other RBIs for Western, which had trouble bringing runners home until the last inning. The Toppers combined to tally 12 hits but stranded 10 runners for the game, including ending two innings with the bases loaded.

“We let them hang around, and I had a bad feeling about it,” Finwood said. “Ridings was pitching great, but we just weren’t taking advantage of it.”

Rice said this game was a must-win for the Toppers.

“Every win from this point out in the Sun Belt Conference is a valuable one,” Rice said.  “Finwood has told us, ‘every game here on out is the most important one,’ so thats the attitude we have to take into it.”

The Toppers look to win the series when they face the Trojans again at 3 p.m. Saturday with senior Shane Cameron taking the mound.

Mike Stunson

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Friday’s Herald sports section

BASEBALL: Tops focused after taking their lumps

BASEBALL: Toppers eyeing professional ranks

SOFTBALL: Lady Toppers in a must-win situation

COLUMN: Gauging Western’s ‘Hang Time’

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Statement from former WKU coach David Boyden

The university released this statement from former assistant basketball coach David Boyden. It was announced Thursday that Boyden would not return to coach the Toppers for the 2010-2011 season.

“I am thankful for the time that I have been able to spend at WKU. Bowling Green will always be home for me. Thank you to the fans that make WKU basketball the best program in the country. Thank you to the players who have made so many sacrifices to make WKU great.”

Head Coach Ken McDonald released a statement Thursday that said Boyden had “already interviewed for one college basketball assistant coaching position, and he will continue the interview process in the coming weeks.”

No firm reason was given for Boyden’s exit.

Jonathan Lintner

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