BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Former Madison Cub Ryan Thurston started Western Kentucky’s conference series opener with Alabama-Birmingham Saturday and worked 5.1 innings of five-hit baseball in the 9-6 loss for his second no-decision of the season.

The red-shirt junior southpaw had fanned 11 and 14 batters, respectively, in his previous two starts to improve to 2-1 on the season — the latter a Hilltopper single-game record dating back to at least 2005. And while he did give up the five runs only two were earned as he struck out seven and walked six in the 106-pitch outing.

Thurston’s now fanned 45 batters in 29 innings and carries a 4.34 ERA.