The Wichita State baseball team saw its season end in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, as the Shockers lost 8-3 to Connecticut on Saturday afternoon in Clearwater, Fla.
The loss ended a 28-31 season that was every bit of up-and-down as the final record might indicate, although the Shockers did end the season on a high note. It was the first appearance in the AAC tournament semifinals after WSU knocked off No. 7-ranked East Carolina with two wins in three days.
But the timely hitting and clutch pitching that the Shockers had been relying on this week in Florida finally ran out. WSU’s offense on Saturday could only manage six hits, the defense committed four errors and the pitching staff allowed six earned runs.
WSU did have a good start, as it led 2-0 after the top of the second inning. Ross Cadena drove in a run on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, although it was the only run the Shockers could squeeze out in the first inning.
The Shockers tacked on another run in the second inning when Jacob Katzfey scored on a wild pitch.
But the Shockers lost control of the game in the bottom of the second, as UConn scored five runs and took a 5-2 lead. The Huskies led off the inning with a double, single and walk to load the bases, then scored two on a double and WSU starter Connery Peters was pulled from the game.
Needing to beat UConn twice on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s championship game, WSU struggled to mount much of an attack against UConn reliever Colby Dunlop, who threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings for the Huskies.
WSU senior Mason O’Brien led the Shockers with two hits on the day, while Cadena and Noah Croft finished with RBI hits.