The Wichita State baseball team survived the first day of the American Athletic Conference tournament in Clearwater, Fla. on Wednesday.
The No. 7-seeded Shockers advanced to the winner's bracket thanks to a 4-2 victory over No. 2 South Florida early Wednesday. Due to expected inclement weather on Thursday, WSU played again and lost 7-5 to Connecticut in the double-elimination tournament.
Now Wichita State will face South Florida again, this time in an elimination game Thursday at 8 a.m. The winner will play Connecticut at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and must beat the Huskies twice to advance to Sunday's AAC tournament championship game.
WSU likely needs to win the tournament to reach its first NCAA Regional since 2014.
Alec Bohm was the hero of the first game, as his 2-RBI double down the left-field line in the top half of the seventh inning broke a 1-all tie and proved to be the game-winning play.
On the mound, Keylan Killgore registered his longest relief outing of the season. He replaced starter Adam Keller, who made his first start of the season, in the third inning. Killgore pitched the next six innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out seven USF hitters. Chandler Sanburn came on in the ninth to close out the game for the save.
WSU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Ross Cadena drew a bases-loaded walk after Greyson Jenista and Noah Croft walked and Bohm singled. USF tied it in the second inning, then tacked on another run in the seventh to trim WSU's lead to 3-2.
The Shockers added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Travis Young singled to center field, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, then scored on a RBI single by Luke Ritter.
WSU held a 4-1 lead in the second game against Connecticut after a four-run explosion in the second inning. Cadena led off with a single, then scored on a fielder's choice by Jordan Boyer. Ritter followed with a RBI single, then Greyson Jenista delivered a sacrifice fly to score a run, and Ritter scored on a wild pitch.
But starter Codi Heuer struggled with his command, as he walked four, hit a batter, and had three wild pitches on top of allowing six hits. Connecticut scored three runs in the fifth inning to tie the score and knock Heuer from the game.
Connecticut would take the lead for good in the seventh inning, scoring on back-to-back RBI hits off Cody Tyler for a 6-4 lead. The Huskies would tack on another run in the eighth inning.
WSU's bats were silenced by Connecticut reliever Tim Cates, who struck out seven hitters in 3 2/3 innings and limited WSU to one hit. Bohm, who finished with three hits, homered on a solo shot in the ninth inning, but WSU would only have one other runner reach second base in the final six innings.