Shoemake gets another pitching win, beating Murray State
By Matt Keenan

Posted on February 19, 2020 8:46 PM


WKU Baseball used a five-run first inning to propel itself to a 7-6 victory over Murray State Wednesday afternoon at Nick Denes Field.

The win puts the Hilltoppers at 3-1 on the season and moves the Racers to 0-4 on the year.

Dalton Shoemake, son of Russellville High School grad Paul Shoemake and his wife, Dean Jennifer Shoemake of SKYCTC, got his second win in three days pitching long relief.

After Murray State took a quick 2-0 advantage in the top of the first, the Hilltoppers answered back with five runs in the bottom of the frame to take a lead they would never relinquish, fighting off a late push by the Racers to come away with the 7-6 win.

“In the first inning [Murray State] put two on the board, but give our offense credit – we came right back in the bottom half of the inning and put a five-spot on the board,” said head coach John Pawlowski. “Then I thought [Riley] Boyd really settled in. I thought he did a very good job his first time out – threw strikes and got his changeup going – which we’ve worked hard on so I was encouraged by that.

“In college baseball, it is what it is, it’s never over. You’ve just got to find a way to win – that’s the bottom line.”

Riley Boyd, a transfer from Jefferson College, earned the starting nod in his first appearance for the Hilltoppers. The junior tossed 5.0 innings while allowing five hits and two runs (both unearned).

Dalton Shoemake entered in the fifth to relieve Boyd, recording his second win of the season after fanning four batters while surrendering three hits and three runs in 3.1 frames of action. Bailey Sutton came in to close things out for the Hilltoppers, earning his first save of the season while allowing one run in 1.1. innings on the bump.

Offensively, WKU compiled nine hits, with seven different players recording at least one hit on the day. Ray Zuberer III led the way with a 2-for-4 effort, including a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth that gave the Hilltoppers the cushion they needed to come away with the win.

"I'm just trying to put good swings on balls,” said Zuberer. “I learned it from Jake Sanford last year after he had hit 22 home runs. My mindset going up there is 'Just go on up there and put good swings on the ball, have a quality at-bat and do the best I can for this team'."

Murray State ended its five-inning scoreless drought in the top of the seventh, using an RBI-double to right field to put the score at 6-3.

The Racers then added two more in the eighth inning, scoring off a sac fly and RBI-single to cut WKU’s lead to just one.

Zuberer later recorded his second home run of the season, blasting a solo shot over the right field wall to make it 7-5 after eight.

Murray State tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth, but Sutton shut them out from there to give the Hilltoppers a 7-6 win.


The Hilltoppers will host Wright State for a three-game series beginning Friday, Feb. 21 at Nick Denes Field.


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