Saturday’s box score
WSU 4, SIU 3
Two outs when winning run scored.
E — Jones, Elam. DP — SIU 2. LOB — SIU 11, WSU 12. 2B — Casillas (15), Daily 2 (11), Kihle (7), Gillaspie (11). HR — Casillas (5), Gillaspie (10), Parker (1). SB — Kihle (6), Dearman (16), Haddox (1), Gillaspie (4), Kirk (3).
|Dray L,0-2||1 2/3||3||2||2||2||0||2.94|
HBP — Kirk (by Dray). Umpires — home, Travis Olson; first, Greg Mudd; third, Jeff Spisak. T — 3.55. A — 3,827.
Elam back on track
Wichita State starter Cale Elam feels healthy again and his performance showed it. Two weeks ago, he took a line drive off his right elbow at Indiana State and wasn’t sharp in last week’s start at Evansville.
On Saturday, he went 8 1/3 innings and struck out a season-high 10 batters. He allowed four hits and one earned run. He didn’t allow an extra-base hit until the seventh.
“This is probably the best I’ve felt in the last two weeks,” he said.
Elam said the elbow did tighten up before the top of the fifth inning. He walked the first two batters and SIU scored a run as a result.
Matt Jones bunted toward third and Elam hustled to grab it. He had no play at third and threw to first, leading second baseman Dayne Parker into the runner. The collision dropped Parker and the ball bounced away. First baseman Casey Gillaspie picked it up and tagged Jones, who turned toward second before trying to get back to first.
“I try to keep loose, keep it hot, keep it stretched out,” he said. “It just kind of gets stiff. Other than that it felt normal.”
Elam had a chance to notch his second complete game of the season. SIU’s Ryan Casillas spoiled that with his home run in the ninth, tying the game 2-all.
“That was just a cutter that didn’t cut,” Elam said. “Over the middle. It was supposed to be away.”
Watching from afar
WSU coach Todd Butler watched the game’s most exciting parts from his office, which looks out over the field, and listened on the radio.
First-base umpire Greg Mudd ejected him in the sixth inning. The ejection happened after WSU’s Garrett Bayliff appeared to foul a pitch off his foot and toward the first baseman. Casillas picked up the ball and stepped on first. Bayliff disagreed with the out call and Butler came out to argue.
After a huddle, the umpires reaffirmed the call and Bayliff walked angrily back to the dugout. That’s when Mudd and Butler got into a heated discussion regarding dugout decorum. Butler said he approached the umpire to find out who said what and wasn’t warned before the ejection.
At Evansville, Butler was ejected under similar circumstances last week and he is ready for his players to stop putting him in a bad position.
“I’m disappointed to be thrown out two weekends in a row,” he said. “Both times have come from the dugout, trying to protect the team. I’ve had enough of that. Our team needs to handle themselves with much more class and leave the umpires alone.”
SIU starter Todd Eaton allowed 10 hits, the first Saluki pitcher to do so this season.… WSU improved to 1-2 in extra-inning games and 5-9 in one-run games.… WSU first baseman Casey Gillaspie hit his 10th home run of the season. He needs one more to equal his total from 2013. No Shocker has hit more than 11 home runs since Drew Moffitt hit 26 in 2004.… WSU clinched the series win over SIU for the seventh straight season. The Shockers last swept SIU in 2007.