Junior pitcher Tim Bado went 8 1/3 innings for the Western Kentucky baseball team(4-7) on Sunday, and WKU won its first series of the season with a 2-1 victory over Kent State at Nick Denes Field.
The Hilltoppers went ahead for good in the bottom of the seventh, when sophomore first baseman Scott Wilcox scored sophomore center fielder David Simmons with a double.
Here are postgame comments from coach Matt Myers, Bado and Wilcox:
“That’s a championship effort by Tim Bado. The team really needed that. For him to go out against – and I keep saying that’s a (NCAA) Regional team over there – those three arms are as good as we’ll see in a rotation the rest of the way out.”
Pitching rotation:”You see why we’re excited about Bado, and you’ve seen what Tanner (Perkins) and Justin (Hageman) can do. When we put all three of those healthy, we may have one of the best rotations around too.”
“The plays behind us helped Tim, and then our offense relaxed a little bit and got some things done.”
“We could look back and see that this was a defining moment for us. We could say, ‘The Kent series was the reason we took off.’ These guys needed something like that. They needed some positive reinforcement.”
“The challenge now is being consistent. We need to play Evansville and play a complete game. We don’t need to do what we did at Murray and be non-competitive.”
“It felt great out there. I felt great, and the guys were behind me like they always are. I got real tired at the end, but I tried to put it together as best I could. I said I wanted to finish it and do it for the guys, and I’m glad he has that confidence in me.”
Starters throwing long innings:”That’s huge. As the season goes on, those guys are going to get taxed, so the deeper the starters can go, the easier it’s going to be for everybody.”
On opposing pitcher Tyler Skulina:”He had great stuff today. I kept thinking to myself out there, ‘Who’s going to break first, me or him?’ I didn’t want to be that guy.”
“Bado really set the tone for us early, getting balls on the ground. It was great to get a series win at home and hopefully kick-start us going forward.”
On getting good efforts from starting pitchers: “If they come out and set the tone like that, it gives us as an offense a lot of confidence. It helps our defense too.”
On go-ahead hit: “We were trying to get some good hits, and I was just in the right situation at the right time. Sometimes things work, and sometimes they do.”
Carrying over momentum: “We want to come back out with the same intensity we had today. Coach said before the game that this was probably our most important game up to this point, so this is good going forward.”