WKU (20-5, 6-0 Sun Belt) took an 8-1 lead with seven unanswered over four innings and held off a pair of late rallies by the Warhawks to pick up the victory. ULM scored five runs in the seventh and two in the ninth, but the Hilltoppers were able to end both threats with their lead intact.
The Warhawks put the tying run on base in the top of the ninth following a pair of walks by WKU closer Rye Davis, a fielding error to score a run and an RBI single by Caleb Clowers. However, Davis got a called third strike on an 0-2 pitch to end the game.
Matt Payton paced the 14-hit attack by the Hilltoppers going 2-for-4 with a pair of triples and four RBIs. Jared Andreoli was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while Casey Dykes was 2-for-4 and Kory Petri was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
Boomer Blanchard finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs to lead the Warhawks at the plate as they finished with 11 hits as a team. Jarrett Hammond was 2-for-3 and finished the doubleheader 5-for-6 after he entered the day with four hits on the season. Judd Edwards added a pair of hits and an RBI in five at-bats.
WKU broke open a 1-1 game with two runs in the fifth and five runs in the sixth to stake an 8-1 advantage. Payton's first triple of the game broke the tie in the fifth. He then scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kes Carter. Payton had the big blow in the sixth with a bases-loaded triple past a diving Josh Chappell at first base.
ULM (9-14, 3-6) loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the seventh and finished the inning with five runs to pull within two, 8-6. Taylor Adballa drew a bases-loaded walk and Shane Ardoin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to plate the first two runs of the inning. Blanchard singled to right to score Hammond and then Edwards and Josh Gill followed with back-to-back RBI ground outs.
The Hilltoppers plated a pair of much needed insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on a pair of two-out singles by Carter and Matt Rice.
Tanner Perkins (3-0) picked up the victory for WKU allowing three runs on nine hits over six innings of work. Davis worked the final two innings for the Hilltoppers to earn his fourth save of the season.
Jordy Poche (1-2) suffered the loss for the Warhawks after allowing eight runs - seven earned - on 11 hits over 5.1 innings of work.
The Warhawks travel to Lake Charles, La., on Tuesday for a non-conference game at McNeese State before returning home for four games in four days beginning with Grambling State on Wednesday.
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