Wichita State baseball plays host to North Dakota

03/11/2013 5:13 PM

03/12/2013 9:30 AM

Johnny Coy has the second-lowest batting average among Wichita State baseball players who have received regular playing time this season, which is the surest sign that the Shockers are collectively hitting well.

Coy’s last two games have gotten his average up to .254 entering Tuesday afternoon’s game against North Dakota at Eck Stadium. Though he has hit mostly in the middle of the order as its most proven commodity, he hasn’t been having to carry what has turned out to be a deep lineup.

The player who has most often hit in front of Coy, in the No. 3 spot, has been WSU’s most dangerous hitter, and pitchers are quickly figuring that out. Casey Gillaspie has 10 extra-base hits (five doubles, five home runs) in 14 games; his 15 walks put him at a team-best .492 on-base percentage. He was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the week after hitting .468 for the week.

If Coy, WSU’s senior designated hitter, gets hot, pitchers may be less likely to work around Gillaspie, but other hitters behind Gillaspie are taking advantage of RBI situations. Erik Harbutz has 12 RBIs while batting .333, and Tyler Baker’s .643 slugging percentage is supplemented by 10 runs driven in.

Taylor Doggett has been a spark at the top of the lineup with a .400 average, and Micah Green has surprised by batting .353 in 11 games. The Shockers have scored at least five runs in 10 of their 14 games.

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