BOWLING GREEN, Ky.  – Playing in the opener of their first three-game series of the 2014 season the UNC Asheville baseball team fell to Western Kentucky 8-5 at Nick Denes Field in non-conference action.

With the setback the Bulldogs fall to 1-1 while WKU improves to 3-2.

The two teams committed a five errors combined, with three Bulldog miscues leading to five unearned runs by the Hilltoppers.

“We gave away some freebies, making errors that led to some big innings,” said Asheville skipper Tom Smith. “Our guys swung the bats pretty well, but today was not our best effort. However, we’ll go out there and get them tomorrow.” 

Junior second baseman Kyle Towles led the team in hitting from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a run batted in. Shortstop Tommy Houmard went 2-for-4 with two RBI form the No. 2 spot, with designated hitter Justin Woods collecting two hits in the No. 6 slot.

Sophomore pitcher Corey Randall started and pitched effectively, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits in five innings of work. Freshman Joe Zayatz was credited with the loss in a relief appearance, allowing four runs (one earned) on two hits in 2.1 innings to fall to 0-1 on the young season.

WKU’s Sam Higgs (1-0) picked up the win in relief after the Bulldogs held starter Justin Hageman to only four innings of work. Higgs did not allow a run in four innings of work to improve to 1-0. Ian Tompkins picked up the save by pitching a scoreless top of the ninth.

The two teams meet tomorrow at 2 p.m., with Asheville tossing senior righty Ethan Steible and the Hilltoppers throwing lefty Justin Clay.