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No. 22 Western Kentucky Downs ULM 6-1 in Series Opener
Courtesy: ulmwarhawks.com
         
Release: March 26, 2010
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Courtesy: ulmwarhawks.com
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-No. 22 Western Kentucky scored three runs in the first inning and Matt Ridings pitched eight strong frames to lead the Hilltoppers to a 6-1 victory over ULM Friday night in the Sun Belt Conference series opener at Nick Denes Field.

Matt Payton led off the bottom of the first with a single to right and then Jared Andreoli took an 0-2 pitch out to right field for his second home run of the season. Following an out and a single by Matt Rice, Monte Ketchum doubled to right for the third run of the inning.  

Ridings (5-0) scattered eight hits and allowed just one run in his first start since setting the WKU all-time wins record last week. The senior right-hander struck out four and issued just one walk. Rye Davis worked a scoreless ninth to close out the game for WKU.

WKU (18-5, 4-0 Sun Belt) and ULM both finished with nine hits on the night, but ULM stranded nine runners over the course of the game compared to six by the Hilltoppers.

Judd Edwards led the Warhawks at the plate going 2-for-4 with both hits going for doubles - the third time this season he has hit two doubles in a game. Caleb Clowers had his team-leading 12th multiple-hit game as he finished 2-for-4.

Ketchum finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, while Payton was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Casey Dykes was 2-for-4.

The Hilltoppers put an unearned run on the board in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. Following a leadoff double by Payton, a passed ball and throwing error allowed him to move to third and score in one sequence.

ULM (9-12, 3-4) scored its lone run of the game in the top of the sixth on a Josh Chappell sacrifice fly to right field to score Nick Wade. Wade led off the inning with his second triple of the season after he lined a ball into the gap in right-center. WKU answered the run in its half of the frame with a sacrifice fly of its own to right field. Ketchum extended the score out to the final 6-1 margin with a two-out single in the seventh.

James Jones (2-2) pitched well for the Warhawks despite taking the loss. After allowing the three runs in the opening inning, he retired eight straight batters and worked around some trouble in the middle innings. Jones finished with seven strikeouts and was charged with six runs - five earned - on nine hits.

The teams wrap up the three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. due to the threat of rain in Bowling Green on Sunday. Both games will be broadcast live on the Warhawk Radio Network with local coverage on 540 AM and worldwide coverage on ulmwarhawks.com. Fans can also following the action with free live stats online at ulmwarhawks.com.

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