The Wichita State baseball team continued their domination of the Big 12 conference this season, as the Shockers routed Kansas, 11-0, at Eck Stadium on Wednesday evening.
WSU improved to 4-0 this season against Big 12 teams, which includes WSU's first sweep of Oklahoma State since 2010 and a win over Oklahoma. The Shockers (26-9) will go for the sweep of KU (19-17) in Lawrence next Tuesday and also has two games against Kansas State in May.
"One of our goals this season was to be one of the better teams in the Midwest," WSU manager Todd Butler said. "We still have a lot of work ahead of us. You're only as good as your last performance."
On Wednesday, the Shockers won because Tyler Davis threw five scoreless innings and struck out eight in his first collegiate start and the offense strung together four consecutive doubles for a five-run fifth inning to break the game open.
"There were some butterflies going on, for sure," Davis said. "It was a lot of excitement since a lot of fans showed up. This was a lot of fun."
It was the first time since 2004 that WSU had four straight extra-base hits in an inning and the first time since 2007 it had four doubles in an inning, as Gunnar Troutwine, Greyson Jenista, Dayton Dugas, and Paxton Wallace all came through with doubles in the fifth inning.
The Shockers finished with eight doubles in total on the night, as Alec Bohm, Troutwine, Dugas, Wallace, and Jordan Boyer all finished with two hits. Luke Ritter and Bohm each extended their hitting streaks to 10 games.
"Our whole team motto is that we're not pressing," Jenista said. "We're going to wait for our shot and then when our shot came, we took it. This offense is explosive, as the four doubles in a row shows."
While the offense excelled in two-out situations, delivering eight RBIs on 9-of-17 hitting with two outs, the pleasant surprise of the night was Davis, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Spring, Texas who had made 13 appearances this season in relief.
Davis was brilliant on the mound in his first start, mixing speeds and keeping KU's hitters off-balanced. He only allowed three base runners in his five innings, as his eight strikeouts kept the bases empty most innings for the Jayhawks.
"His changeup and slider were really working for him late in the counts," Troutwine, WSU's catcher, said. "We knew coming in how big the changeup was going to be and Tyler really showed it well in the bullpen, which I think boosted his confidence. Then when he started seeing (KU) swing at that as the out pitch, then that really got him going."
Troutwine gave Davis the lead in the first inning with his first of four RBIs in the game, as the Shockers improved to 18-0 this season when they score first. No. 9 hitter Travis Young delivered a RBI single in the second inning for a 2-0 lead, before the five-run fifth inning opened up the game.
The Shockers (4-5 AAC record) will play a crucial conference series this weekend at Houston (7-5 AAC) starting with Friday's game at 6:30 p.m.