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Wichita State baseball falls to Pittsburgh for second straight day

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at 6:23 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at 6:33 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Wichita State

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Eck Stadium

Records: Pitt 2-0, WSU 0-2

Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM

Pittsburgh’s bats were hot for a second straight day to open the college baseball season.

The Panthers never trailed in their 10-8 victory over Wichita State, collecting 17 hits after 14 in Friday’s opener.

“I’d say that’s a pretty difficult obstacle to overcome,” WSU coach Gene Stephenson said. “It’s painful to watch.”

WSU’s obstacle reached its peak in the the seventh inning after Pitt had built a 9-2 lead. Pittsburgh starting pitcher Matt Wotherspoon went 7 1/3 innings and had six strikeouts while keeping the Shocker bats relatively quiet.

“Once again, their starting pitcher went a long way today,” Stephenson said. “Anytime you can get your starting pitcher to go seven-plus innings in February, you are doing pretty well. He didn’t walk too many guys, he’s ahead in the count all the time, he mixes his pitches up and he tried to keep the ball down.”

WSU finally found a way to crack the Pitt defense in the seventh inning. With two outs, Dayne Parker’s single allowed Micah Green to score, and two batters later Tanner Dearman singled into left field to score Parker.

The Shockers’ rally continued in the eighth, when Tyler Baker’s three-run shot over the right-center wall cut the lead to 9-7.

The momentum wore off some in ninth after Casey Roche singled to score Bennette Hill and increase Pitt’s lead to 10-7.

“Every time it seems like we get close or every time we get tied, we give it right back to them,” Stephenson said.

WSU had a golden opportunity in ninth inning to complete its comeback. Coy’s hit ricocheted off Hill’s glove at second base, allowing Dearman to score and make it 10-8. This also moved Casey Gillaspie to third base with no outs.

The magic ran out on WSU when Erik Harbutz lined into a double play during the next at-bat, and Mikel Mucha grounded out to end the game.

“We just have to compete better early in the game, offensively. I think we are coming around,” Stephenson said. “We are close, but we haven’t had a lead yet in these two games.”

While the offense finally got going, WSU’s pitching struggled. Six pitchers threw, and starter A.J. Ladwig gave up eight hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings.

“There is no concern about anything other than we need to be consistent all around the game,” he said. “We need to be better offensively throughout the game and we need to have better pitching throughout the game. This is no time to panic, but we need to be better tomorrow.”

The Shockers wrap up their series with Pitt at 1 p.m. Sunday at Eck Stadium.

Vranka cf421012.333
Vasquez lf311011.250
Shelinsky lf1112001.00
Roche rf533310.600
Parente 3b612101.364
Soto c502202.300
Lardo dh502102.400
Hess 1b401012.429
Hill 2b511002.222
Oswald ss413001.429
Wichita State
Bobbit dh501001.222
Dearman 2b513100.600
Gillaspie rf411010.286
Coy 1b511103.333
Kihle pr000000.000
Harbutz 3b512100.375
Mucha lf411011.250
Green cf411001.250
Baker c412300.250
Parker ss311100.143

Wichita State0002002318

E — Hill. DP — Pittsburgh 2. LOB — PIttsburgh 12, WSU 7. 2B — Vazquez (1), Soto (1), Baker (1). 3B — Coy (1). HR — Shelinsky (1), Roche (1), Baker (1). S — Vranka. SB — Roche (1), Parente (1), Lardo 2 (3), Hess (1), Mucha (1). CS — Oswald.

Wotherspoon W,1-07 1/31166167.40
Wilt S,11000000.00
Wichita State
Ladwig L,0-14 1/3844158.37

WP — Ladwin, Minnis, Peterson. HBP — Parker (by Danielczyk); Shelinsky, Oswald (by Peterson). Balk — Ladwig. Umpires — Conan Strobel, home; Charlie Clemons, first; Kevin Raine, third. T — 2:55. A — 2,358.

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