Postgame: WKU baseball gets 4-3 victory in Tanner Perkins’ return

The WKU baseball team got its first win of the season Sunday with a 4-3 victory over Bowling Green State at Nick Denes Field.

Junior pitcher Tanner Perkins pitched four strong innings for the win in his return from Tommy John Surgery, and junior reliever Andrew Edwards struck out nine in relief to help WKU secure the win.

Here are postgame comments from coach Matt Myers, Perkins, Edwards and senior catcher Devin Kelly:

MATT MYERS, coach

Getting the win: “I was happy with our guys. We came out and played a complete game. We had a little adversity there in the ninth, but we didn’t fade away from it.”

Tanner Perkins: “He was only supposed to go three. He was so efficient today that I let him go one more. … It’s amazing. Pro baseball, college baseball – when you’re No. 1 is on the mound, even though he’s pitching on Sunday, his presence just makes everybody play better.”

Andrew Edwards: “If he’s not a weekend starter, he may be our closer. I’ve just got him set up right now because you don’t know what you’re going to get with Tanner every week. You have to make sure he’s protected. Andrew was going to close if we got to that situation. We’ll address our rotation next week. Justin (Hageman) was a little tight in his shoulder so we want to make sure he’s OK. If not, then Andrew can flip into the rotation. We’ve got a lot of depth. It’s a good thing to have.”

Driving in runners in scoring position: “I loved our approach. We got right after them in the first inning. That’s baseball, and that’s what you’re going to do. When we’re pitching the way we are, every run means something. We left a couple more out there today, but we were pitching well enough that it was good enough for us to win.”

ANDREW EDWARDS, junior pitcher

Strength of bullpen: “We do have a lot of new guys. It’s just going to take getting in there and getting some innings. My first batter was a walk. It was just those jitters, but once they all get in there and get their feet wet, we’ll be good to go.”

Ninth inning: “It was pretty nerve-wracking. I really wanted that win, but I had full confidence in turning the ball over to Ian, and he got the job done for us.”

TANNER PERKINS, junior pitcher

Returning to the mound: “First, I want to thank the good Lord for allowing me to get back so fast. He’s always No. 1, and he helped me through the process. The guys were behind me the whole way.”

Getting back in groove: “It started to come back after I got out there. I was a little anxious at first, but my nerves calmed down, and I was able to get the first guy. That helped me a lot.”

Coming out after 41 pitches: “It was real tough, but that’s the way we planned to do it. I’m perfectly fine with that.”

Avoiding sweep: “It’s a big confidence boost with us. We’ve got another good team coming in, so maybe we’ll get it started off on the right foot the way we’re supposed to at home.”

DEVIN KELLY, senior catcher

Ninth inning: “It got away from us a little bit. I should’ve blocked that ball in the dirt, and I tried to make a play for the team. The outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but Andrew pitched great all day.”

On Perkins: “Tanner is the definition of hard work. It was good for him to have success early for his confidence.”

Winning a close one: “We come out here every day trying to win ballgames. We let two one-run ballgames get away from us, so we easily could have been on the other side of that and had a little excitement in the dugout. But you gotta get at least one, right?”

Approach at plate: “It was exciting. A couple of young guys sparked us today. It’s all just about putting the ball in play and driving guys in.”

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