WSU baseball coach Todd Butler previews 2019 season
The Wichita State baseball team snapped a six-game slide, winning 8-6 over Central Florida on Thursday night in a three-game series-opener in American Athletic Conference play at Eck Stadium.
It was another strong effort from the WSU offense, as the Shockers collected 14 hits and all nine players in the lineup finished with at least one hit to help WSU improve to 19-18 overall and 4-6 in conference play. Liam Eddy gave four earned runs, but earned his fourth win of the season and Mitchell Walters registered his sixth save closing out the final two innings.
WSU was in desperate need of anything positive after losing the final two games in New Orleans to lose the series to Tulane, squandering multiple chances against Oklahoma State in a 1-0 home loss, then getting swept at home by Houston last week. The loss dropped UCF to 22-16 overall and 4-9 in conference play.
Senior Jordan Boyer collected another three hits to raise his batting average to .385 on the season, while Luke Ritter, Ross Cadena and Brady Slavens all had multi-hit games as well. Slavens and Jacob Katzfey each led the team with two runs driven in.
WSU took a 3-1 lead after the first inning when Paxton Wallace, Cadena and Slavens hit three straight singles. The Shockers broke open a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning with a four-run inning, as Katzfey delivered a 2-RBI double, Ritter singled in a run and Hunter Gibson hit a sacrifice fly.
UCF trailed 8-5 going into the ninth inning and hit a lead-off double and single against WSU’s closer, Walters, to put runners on first and third with no outs. But Walters limited the damage by coaxing a double-play that scored a run, but forced UCF into its final out. Walters got a fly ball to end the game.
Head to Kansas.com for coverage of Friday night’s Game 2 of the series, while the Shockers and Knights will conclude the series at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
|Central Florida (22-16)||101||012||001|
|6 10 1|
|Wichita State (19-18)||300||410||00x|
|8 14 0|
WP: Eddy (4-4). LP: Schuermann (4-4). SV: WSU, Walters (6). E: UCF, Bernardo (1). LOB: UCF 13, WSU 9. 2B: UCF, Alejo, George, Hernandez; WSU, Cadena, Katzfey. HR: UCF, Griffin. SB: UCF, Mika 3, Beaver 2, Alejo, Osik. CS: UCF, Osik. HBP: UCF, Mika 2 (by Eddy), Osik (by Eddy), George (by Eddy); WSU, Wallace (by Sinclair). Umpires: Scott Behn, home; Andrew Fulton, first; Wes Hamilton, second; Mark Heusman, third. T: 3:34. A: 1,963.
Softball — The Shockers won their sixth straight AAC game on Thursday, an 8-0 six-inning victory over East Carolina, but suffered a 3-2 setback in Friday’s Game 2. The loss against the last-place team in the conference dropped WSU to 27-20 and 8-6 in AAC play.
Erin McDonald improved her record to 11-10 with a six-inning shutout on Thursday, as the Shockers’ offense did the rest with 10 hits and seven walks. Bailee Nickerson ripped her fourth home run of the season and finished with a team-high four runs batted in. Wellington native Ryleigh Buck also hit a 2-run home run.
WSU led 2-0 after five innings on Friday, but starter Caitlin Bingham ran into trouble in the sixth inning and McDonald came on in relief but allowed a 3-run home run that ultimately sunk the Shockers. After the offensive explosion the day before, WSU’s offense was limited to just five hits on Friday.
The series will conclude Saturday at 11 a.m.
|East Carolina (20-24)||000||000|
|0 4 0|
|Wichita State (27-19)||014||201|
|8 10 0|
WP: McDonald (11-9). LP: Poepping (13-16). E: None. LOB: ECU 9, WSU 8. 2B: ECU, Inae. HR: WSU, Buck, Nickerson. SB: WSU, Derrico 2, McKinney, Perrigan. CS: None. T: 2:15. A: 292.
Hitting: ECU, King 0-3, Inae 2-2, McCollum 0-1, Wood 0-3, McClellan 0-2, Weingartz 0-3, Layton 0-2, Ziemba 1-3, Narron 0-2, Halo 1-1. WSU, McKinney 2-3, Buck 1-4, Perrigan 1-3, Derrico 2-3, Nickerson 2-3, Herring 0-2, Huecker 1-3, Reese 1-2, Glover 0-2. Pitching: ECU, Poepping 2.1 IP-5 ER, Sanford 1.2-2, Garman 1-1. WSU, McDonald 6 IP-0 ER.
|East Carolina (21-24)||000||003||0|
|3 4 1|
|Wichita State (27-20)||010||010||0|
|2 5 1|
WP: Poepping (14-16). LP: McDonald (11-10). E: ECU, King; WSU, Jamele. LOB: ECU 6, WSU 5. 2B: WSU, McKinney. HR: ECU, Halo. SB: None. T: 2:05. A: 447.
Hitting: ECU, King 2-4, Inae 0-2, McCollum 0-3, Halo 1-3, McClellan 0-2, Weingartz 0-3, Layton 1-3, Ziemba 0-3, Narron 0-2; WSU, McKinney 1-4, Buck 0-3, Perrigan 1-2, Derrico 1-3, Nickerson 1-3, Herring 0-3, Huecker 0-1, Jamele 0-1, Reese 1-2, Glover 0-2, Canada 0-1. Pitching: ECU, Poepping 7 IP-1 ER. WSU, Bingham 5 IP-2 ER, McDonald 2-1.