Indiana State matched a two-day output with four first-inning runs Sunday at Eck Stadium, getting to Wichita State starter A.J. Ladwig in a 7-5 victory that avoided a Shocker sweep.
WSU put the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning but couldn’t send it to extra inning.
“I’m frustrated with our starting pitcher today, I’m frustrated with our defense today, I’m frustrated with the unconscionable play in center field, unbelievable,” WSU coach Gene Stephenson said. “We made a lot of mistakes today and that’s terrible.”
With one out in the first inning, Indiana State got hits from its next four batters, leading to two runs. Indiana State’s Jacob Hayes followed with a grounder through first baseman Casey Gillaspie’s legs to score another run. Then, with Taylor Steen at the plate, Ladwig threw a wild pitch to allow Hayes home.
“We gave away the game in the first inning by missed plays and bad pitching, I guess, I mean balls fell into places,” Stephenson said. “They really only hit one ball hard that whole time, but giving them four off a pitcher like (Sean Manaea) is really difficult.”
Opponents were hitting .172 off Manaea with a 1.14 ERA. He gave up five hits but no runs and struck out nine Sunday over six innings.
Indiana State scored one in the third, then broke it open in the sixth.
With two outs and a runner on, Indiana State’s Jordan Pearson singled to center field, but the ball got through Taylor Doggett’s legs and Pearson rounded the bases for a 7-0 lead.
“There’s no play anywhere except on second base. I don’t have any idea how (Doggett) could come in, charge the ball, miss it altogether, and then it goes to an inside-the-park error, three-base error,” Stephenson said. “That gave them the extra two runs, that’s the difference in the game there.”
Manaea, a likely high draft pick in June, had a stretch of 12 consecutive batters he retired, including eight strikeouts. No Shocker reached third base when Manaea was on the mound, but a lingering hip injury helped Sycamores coach Rick Heller to pull him in the seventh.
“We got a great start out of Manaea, which we really needed today, and throw in the fact that our bats finally came alive a little bit, and we gave him some runs and some support early was big,” Heller said. “I had to go a little sooner than normal with him to the bullpen, and unfortunately had a couple guys that walked a couple, and they just swung it pretty good down the stretch.”
Tanner Kirk had an RBI single for WSU’s first run in the ninth, then Sean Moore’s pinch-hit, three-run home run to center field.
“Being a pinch hitter, I don’t really get a lot of at-bats, and the last at-bat that I got, I struck out in four pitches,” Moore said. “The coaches came and set me aside and said, ‘We need you to swing the bat.’ The first pitch I saw I just swung and it went over.”
Tyler Baker doubled down the right-field line, and Mikel Mucha doubled to left field to score Baker. But WSU’s last three batters were retired.
|C. Zimmerman dh||5||1||2||0||0||2||.276|
E — Gillaspie, Harbutz, Doggett. DP — WSU 2. LOB — Indiana State 4, WSU 7. 2B — Kraemer (9), Hayes (1), Baker (7), Mucha (5) . HR — Moore (1). CS — C. Zimmerman.
WP — Ladwig 2. HBP — Coy (by Dove). PB — Steen. Umpires — Mike Grace, home; Wayne Harris, first; Bill McGuire, third. T — 3:42. A — 2,478.