Sunday’s box score
WSU 13, Evansville 3
Game halted by run rule.
E — Kirk, Synek. DP — WSU 2. LOB — WSU 7, Evansville 6. 2B — Green (8), Bayliff (8), Kirk (4), Perry (2), Mahon (10). HR — Simpson (3, grand slam), Showers (2). S — Kirk, Dearman 2. CS — Baker.
|Tewes W,5-2||6 1/3||7||3||3||1||2||3.47|
|Strain L,2-3||4 1/3||5||3||3||1||2||3.34|
WP — Miller. HBP — Perry (by Tewes). Umpires — home, Jason Stidham; first, Danny Jiminez; third, Carlos Martinez. T — 2.38. A — 302.
Not part of the plan
Wichita State coach Todd Butler had nothing to lose by getting ejected on Sunday. All motivational tools are on the table during an eight-game losing streak.
The ejection wasn’t planned, he said, and had nothing to do with arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Jason Stidham. Stidham ejected Butler in the first inning, after he called a strike with Casey Gillaspie batting. Gillaspie disagreed and took a walk a few feet from home plate.
Butler came out of the dugout and talked with Stidham. He walked back toward the dugout, then turned and went back toward the umpire, who ejected him. Butler said the disagreement began when Stidham warned the dugout, unfairly in Butler’s view.
“It’s the first inning and our guys are into it,” Butler said. “He takes off his mask and hollers at our dugout. I didn’t like it. He doesn’t know who it is, but he’s saying it’s the dugout. I don’t get that. So then I’m aggravated because it’s not starting out well.”
It was Butler’s first ejection as Shocker coach.
“It fired everyone up a little bit,” WSU center fielder Garrett Bayliff said. “I don’t know if it was planned or not.”
Solid in the field
WSU’s defense rarely let down during the losing streak and on Sunday it gave pitcher Sam Tewes a major boost.
Second baseman Dayne Parker produced the highlight-reel play by diving fully extended to snag a high bouncer, landing on his stomach, and recovering to throw out a speedy runner, Kevin Kaczmarski, at first. First baseman Casey Gillaspie followed by fighting the wind to grab a foul ball and end the third.
The Shockers turned a critical double play in the second inning, getting Tewes out of bases-loaded jam to end the inning. Shortstop Tanner Kirk’s throw barely beat John Jyawook to first, inspiring Aces coach Wes Carroll to sprint across the diamond to argue.
“That was a game-changer,” Tewes said. “Really good job by Dayne and Tanner — a really fast turn and a close play at first.”
An error on Kirk, on a bad-hop ball on a bad-hop grass-and-dirt infield, helped load the bases.
“After my error at short, me and Dayne pumped up Sam a little bit, ‘Get me a ground ball right here and get out of the inning,’” Kirk said. “That was big.”
A double play in the fifth wrecked an Aces rally after the first two hitters of the inning reached. After the double play moved Devin Williams to third, Jake Mahon grounded out to first base to end the inning.
Gillaspie’s career-best hitting streak ended 20 after walking three times, grounding out to second and reaching on a fielder’s choice. He walked on a 3-1 pitch in his last at-bat. His streak is tied for 12th-longest in WSU history with four others, most recently Brandon Green in 2004 … Gillaspie hit .400 on the weekend (4 for 10) and his hitting .394 for the season and .433 in MVC games. Tyler Baker went 5 for 10 in the series to raise his average to .248 … Third baseman Chase Simpson homered for the first time since March 21 … Aces left fielder Jyawook went 0 for 4 after going 4 for 7 and scoring four runs in the first two games … WSU run-ruled an opponent for the first time since last season in a 15-0 win against Southern Illinois. Saturday’s run-rule defeat was WSU’s first since an 18-8 loss at Illinois State in 2010 … Evansville won a series at home against WSU for the second straight time.