Wichita State’s 12-1 victory Wednesday night over Kansas Wesleyan provided a few Shockers some valuable opportunities on a chilly night at Eck Stadium:
Left fielder Mikel Mucha snapped out of a slump with four hits, raising his batting average to .256, driving in two runs and scoring four times;
Second baseman Tanner Dearman went 3 for 4 with four RBI and scored twice;
Senior pitcher TJ McGreevy probably had the most gratifying plate appearance, going 0 for 1 but making contact by grounding to Coyotes pitcher Easton Fry in what likely will be his only collegiate at-bat.
The nonconference victory in a 32-degree wind chill allowed WSU (27-21) a tuneup for a critical Missouri Valley Conference series this weekend at Missouri State.
“It was a good night for us, a chance to get some guys some work that hadn’t had much of a chance at different times and got a bitter taste out of our mouths from last night (a 1-0 loss Tuesday at Kansas),” coach Gene Stephenson said. “I hope we’ll carry it forward and have a good weekend over in Springfield.
“It’s the biggest weekend of the year for us. We have to go over there and play well.”
Mucha singled in his first four plate appearances and drove in two runs but was denied a perfect night on a called strikeout in the eighth.
“Until the last at-bat, he messed up a really good night for himself,” Stephenson joked.
Sophomore Kris Gardner (2-5) started for WSU and pitched five scoreless innings. He was followed by Zach Beringer, Austin Sanders and Tobin Mateychick. Beringer surrendered Kansas Wesleyan’s lone run in the seventh.
“Obviously, our pitching was good,” Stephenson said. “The other thing is, some guys who had really been struggling — mainly Mikel Mucha — had a good night.”
McGreevy said he had to work just to get a plate appearance.
“I had to bug Gene and J.T. (assistant coach Jim Thomas) a little bit,” he chuckled. “I hadn’t seen a live pitch in 4-5 years, since high school. Luckily the DH came up (in the eighth) and gave me a chance to go in.”
E — Lynch, Wade 2, Heiland, Dearman. DP — KWU 2, WSU. LOB — KWU 5, WSU 6. 2B — Haddox (3). S — Moore. SF — Zimmerman 2. SB — Haddox (7), Dearman (5), Doggett (7), Mucha (7). CS — Wade.
HBP — Bain (by Gardner), Kirk (by McNown). Balk — Matz. Umpires — Lance Vaughn, home; Dean Carson, first; Mike Lentz, third. T — 2:13. A — 2,218.