After Wichita State had beaten Alcorn State 12-4 on Tuesday night, coach Gene Stephenson offered up an unusual assist.
“I guess we can thank (KWCH meteorologist) Merrill Teller,” Stephenson said with a wry smile in a game that remained dry despite steady showers during the day.
“I called him about 4:30, and he told me that he thought the rain would dwindle down to nothing between 5-5:30, and that we might have a window there until about 9-10. So I told everybody that the rain was going to stop about 5:23 and that it wouldn’t start again until 9:39.”
During that time – the game actually ended at about 9:11 – WSU scored in all but two of the eight innings it batted, breaking the game open with a three-run sixth and four-run seventh.
Right fielder Don Lambert was just a home run shy of the cycle. He singled in the first, doubled over the head of Alcorn State’s right fielder in the second, and tripled off the wall in deep right in the fourth. He also had three stolen bases and a sacrifice.
The Shockers have won three in a row.
“We’ve got to keep in going,” Lambert said. “We’ve got a lot of ground to make up.
“We’re capable of doing some very special things around here, as long as we come out with that intensity.”
Two other Shockers had multihit games, including junior reserve infielder Aaron Rea, a transfer from Cowley College.
Rea batted for Tyler Coughenour in the sixth and lined a 1-0 pitch to center for an RBI single. In the next inning, he knocked the first pitch into right for another RBI single.
Not bad for someone with just 13 at-bats entering the game.
“I haven’t really been a key guy so far,” Rea said, “but I’ve tried to keep my head up. I know the guys had faith in me. I’m glad I had a chance to come in and do something for us.”
Stephenson said Rea’s contributions were vital because of injuries to infielders Erik Harbutz, Tyler Baker and Coughenour.
“We’re becoming very thin in the infield, very thin,” he said. “It’s very important. We need to have some guys get well soon.”
Just before Rea’s first single, Casey Gillaspie hit a monster shot to center field for an RBI double that probably was a home run, Stephenson said.
“That ball hit on the back side of the wall, because I heard it hit wood, bounced up then kicked back into the ballpark,” Stephenson said. “He had another one against Purdue (last week) that bounced off the top of the wall.”
Free-swinging Alcorn State (4-16) kept up a little pressure by pounding out 11 hits in the game, but couldn’t really pull close.
E — Rosa, Parker (5). DP — WSU 3. LOB — Alcorn State 8, WSU 10. 2B — Warren, Rosa 2; Lambert (3), Gillaspie (3). 3B — Rosa; Lambert (2). SB — Warren; Doggett 3 (8), Hall (10), Lambert 3 (7), Halbert (1). CS — Coughenour (1). S — Perales; Lambert (1). SF — Coy (3).
HBP — by Mormann (Parks); by Vielock (Warren).
WP — Peters 2, Gonzalez 4; Mormann (2). PB — Loupe. Umpires — HP, John Williams; 1B, Kate Walden; 3B, Charlie Clemons. T — 2:40. A — 2361.