Wichita State took advantage of some shoddy Arkansas-Little Rock pitching in the ninth inning to score three runs and beat the Trojans 9-5, giving WSU coach Gene Stephenson his 1,800 career victory.
Stephenson is 1,800-647 and three ties. He trails only Auggie Garrido of Texas in total wins. Garrido is 1853-849 and 10 ties.
Leading 6-5 going into the top of the ninth, the Shockers got two bases-loaded walks and an infield single by Erik Harbutz to score three runs. The only solid hit of the inning was a leadoff double by Tyler Baker. One of those bases-loaded walks was by Johnny Coy, his first walk of the season.
Prior to the ninth, UALR pitchers Jesse Hardin and Travis McDonald had combined to strike out 10 Shockers in 15 outs.
WSU started fast, scoring six runs in the first four innings. In the first, Garrett Bayliff singled and scored on Harbutz’ two-out single. In the second, Baker hit a foul pop-up that the catcher dropped. On the next pitch, he hit a solo homer. Taylor Doggett followed with a single, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
In the third, Casey Gillaspie opened with a walk and eventually scored on Dayne Parker’s sacrifice fly.
Gillaspie hit his second homer of the season in the fourth, the last Shocker hit unitl the ninth.
A. J. Ladwig, who equalled his college career strikeout total of six, picked up the victory, going five innings and allowing eight hits. TJ McGreevy picked up his first save, going 2 1/3 innings and yielding one hit.
Kris Gardner will make his season debut on the mound Friday when WSU plays Western Illinois at 11 a.m.
E — Johnson. DP — Ark.-Little Rock. LOB — WSU 7, Ark.-Little Rock 9. 2B — Baker (2), Thionnet (2), Clark (2), Johnson (3). HR — Baker (2), Gillaspie (2), Johnson (2). S — Johnson. SF — Parker. SB — Doggett (1). CS — Harbutz.
|Ladwig W, 1-1||5||8||4||4||0||6||7.74|
|McGreevy S,1||2 1/3||1||0||0||0||3||3.00|
WP — Bradford, Ladwig, LaBrie. PB — Johnson 2. HBP — Pfeiffer (by Ladwig), Bayliff (by McDonald), Burk (by LaBrie). Umpires — home, Brian Martin; first, Keith Sanders; third, Mike Grace. T — 3:12. A — 237.