Wichita State pitcher Garrett Brummett faced a list of reasons for nerves before Wednesday’s game against Oral Roberts.
He is a freshman, reason enough many times. He made his first start, at Eck Stadium, and first appearance since April 6. And, he’s not just any freshman. He is the son of College World Series MVP Greg Brummett, who brought his Cloud County Community College team to watch.
Garrett Brummett ignored all that and earned his first win with five strong innings in WSU’s 8-0 victory. He allowed one hit — a ball that stayed on the infield — and struck out five.
“He pitched like he was a junior or a senior,” third baseman Tanner Kirk said.
The Shockers (24-19) needed that performance to save a bullpen worn away by Tuesday’s 12-inning, 6-5 loss at Oklahoma State. They needed that effort to rebound after that dispiriting loss and send them into the weekend at Southern Illinois. Brummett provided that and more, much to the delight of coach Gene Stephenson. Three relievers, including freshman Austin Sanders, followed Brummett with four innings of no-hit baseball to give WSU its second one-hitter this season.
“Soothing,” Stephenson said. “That gives us another guy that I think is capable of going in and doing a good job at any time.”
Brummett looked the part, even allowing for Oral Roberts’ .237 batting average. He worked ahead of the hitters, mixed up his pitches and used a slider to keep the Golden Eagles (13-25) from getting comfortable. He didn’t walk a batter and went to two three-ball counts.
“After the first inning, I was pretty relaxed,” Brummett said. “My arm felt great. I didn’t try to do too much.”
That was catcher Tyler Baker’s concern. Brummett can throw too hard and Baker wanted him to stay under control.
“Before the game, I told him, ‘Hey, it’s just me and you, relax,’ ” Baker said. “He was hitting his spots and commanding it real well. His breaking ball was pretty good.”
The Brummetts talked after the game, as they usually do when Garrett pitches. Cloud County played at Pratt on Wednesday afternoon and stopped by Eck Stadium, where Greg pitched from 1986 to 1989, on the return to Concordia.
“He told me he was glad I didn’t try to do too much,” Garrett said. “It looked like I stayed pretty relaxed and had a decent mound presence. I always like to hear my dad say a few positive things after I get done pitching. He’s always there, right after I’m done.”
WSU’s offense helped Brummett with a consistent battering. ORU, which had won four of its previous six games, tried eight pitchers. Starter Gavin Glanz gave up three runs and three hits before he left with an apparent shoulder injury after falling while trying to tag a runner at home. The Shockers totaled 11 hits, including two triples for Baker. Right fielder Garrett Bayliff went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs while extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Freshmen Tanner Dearman and Kirk both went 2 for 4.
Stephenson wasn’t worried about a hangover from Tuesday’s loss.
“I wanted them to keep a positive attitude,” he said. “We’re really close to being a pretty good team. But we have to be as good as we can be every day. We were close (Tuesday).”
Brummett made that easier by shutting down ORU early in the game. Then the Shockers scored three runs in the third and kept scoring.
“We played real well (Tuesday)’” Baker said. “We got down and we fought back. Then we really continued playing well (Wednesday). Garrett didn’t give up any runs, so we weren’t fighting from behind.”
A wild pitch by Glantz scored Erik Harbutz in the second inning. Glantz threw one more pitch — hitting Dearman in the shoulder — before leaving the game. Bayliff greeted Philip Wilson with a two-out single that scored two runs for a 3-0 lead.
Baker tripled to lead off the third and scored on a groundball out. In the fourth, Dearman’s single scored Joe Haddox, who walked. The Shockers made it 7-0 with two fifth-inning runs. Baker, who again tripled to lead off, scored on Johnny Coy’s sacrifice fly. Harbutz scored on a Kirk’s double.
Notes — Dearman left the game after batting in the eighth after hearing a pop in his wrist, Stephenson said.… WSU pitching coach Brent Kemnitz said he expects reliever Albert Minnis to make the roster for this weekend’s series at Southern Illinois. Minnis has not thrown since April 16 after complaining of forearm tightness. Minnis threw a bullpen session before Wednesday’s game and reported his arm felt good.… Baker’s two triples made him the first Shocker to triple twice since Don Lambert in 2011 against Alcorn State.… WSU defeated ORU for the third time this season, outscoring the Golden Eagles 16-1 in two games in Wichita.
|S. Parker c||1||0||0||0||0||0||.077|
|D. Parker 2b||0||0||0||0||0||0||.239|
Bayliff reached on catcher’s interference.
E — Cho. DP — ORU 2. LOB — ORU 2, WSU 7. 2B — Coy (8, Kirk (2)). 3B — Baker 2 (3). SF — Coy. SB — Bayliff (7), Haddox (6), Harbutz 2 (9), Kihle (2).
|Glanz L,1-3||1 2/3||3||3||3||1||2||7.62|
|Brummett W, 1-0||5||1||0||0||0||5||2.84|
WP — Glanz. HBP — Dearman (by Glanz), Williams (by Brummett). Balk — Fisher. Umpires — Greg Mudd, home; Phil Plantz, first; Ben Harlow, third. T — 2:19. A — 2,423.