Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State rallies with three runs in the ninth, wins with single in the 10th to top Bradley

Wichita State's Alec Bohm, middle, is congratulated by teammates Clayton McGinness, left, and Robby Evans after delivering a 10-9 game-winning single to center in the 10th inning Sunday against Bradley.
Wichita State's Alec Bohm, middle, is congratulated by teammates Clayton McGinness, left, and Robby Evans after delivering a 10-9 game-winning single to center in the 10th inning Sunday against Bradley. Eagle correspondent

If Wichita State wanted to remain relevant in the Missouri Valley Conference race, it needed to rally. Again. And again.

Fortunately, the Shockers excelled at comebacks — not so much holding leads — in the series against Bradley at Eck Stadium. On Sunday, they pulled off the weekend’s best dramatic turn to defeat the Braves 10-9 in 10 innings.

WSU (15-25, 5-4 MVC) trailed 3-0 before it recorded an out, 4-0 in the fifth, 9-6 entering the bottom of the ninth and 9-8 with two outs.

“It’s building trust within a team and I think that’s starting to come around, all the guys, now that we know what it feels like and how to do it,” freshman first baseman Greyson Jenista said. “We’re fighting.”

On Friday, WSU trailed 5-0 and won 7-5. On Saturday, it rallied to take the lead or tie three times before losing 8-4. The Braves (17-15, 3-5) ended a 34-game losing streak at Eck Stadium on Saturday and were one out away from winning its first series in Wichita since 1986.

The Shockers tied the game with three runs in the ninth, the third scoring on a throwing error by Bradley shortstop Tyler Leffler, one of three committed by the Braves. Freshman Alec Bohm, whose ninth-inning wind-blown double drove in a run, smacked a fastball to center with the bases loaded and two outs to drive in Keenan Eaton with the winning run in the 10th.

The win moved WSU into third place in the MVC with wins in both its home series. That pace won’t challenge first-place Dallas Baptist, 7-1 with five wins on the road, but it will keep the Shockers in the next tier. Sunday’s win showed the Shockers can overcome several imposing obstacles, starting with a one-inning outing by starter Willie Schwanke.

“It tells me that we’re still breathing, we still have a heartbeat at Wichita State,” coach Todd Butler said. “We’re not dead.”

Bohm couldn’t remember delivering a game-winning hit in high school. He will remember Sunday’s for a long time after driving a 1-2 pitch over the infield. Eaton, who walked on four pitches to lead off the 10th, scored and tossed his helmet in the air. His teammates poured out of the dugout and chased Bohm around first base and swarmed him with high fives and spraying water bottles.

“I turned around and I saw a mob of guys coming at me,” Bohm said. “It’s awesome.”

WSU’s three-run ninth and Bohm’s winner rescued a pitching staff that started with disaster, moved through sweet relief and disaster again.

Schwanke exited after the first inning with more of the biceps tightness that forced him to miss last weekend’s start. Pitching for the first time since April 8, he gave up a home run to Luke Mangieri, a single, a triple, a walk and a double to trail 3-0 before recording an out. He stranded two runners and didn’t return.

“It’s a minor injury,” Butler said. “Nothing to be alarmed about. At least he’s smart enough to come off the mound when he did.”

Freshman Clayton McGinness rescued the Shockers with a career-long 5 1/3 innings. He gave up a solo homer to Andy Shadid in the fourth and kept the Braves under control long enough for WSU to take a 6-4 lead. He struck out five and walked one, relying on his fastball and his defense to keep the game close.

Jenista’s three-run homer started WSU’s first comeback, tying the game 4-all. The Shockers took a 6-4 lead in the sixth on RBI singles by Trey Vickers and Mike Mucha.

The Braves scored three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to go up 9-6. WSU reliever John Hayes relieved McGinness with two on and one out in the seventh and surrendered two two-out doubles. He came back out for the eighth and gave up two two-out runs.

Bradley’s bullpen, after a solid effort Saturday, reached the end of its depth. In the ninth, Jenista’s one-out double off Allan Beer started another rally. Beer walked Troutwine and Bohm lofted a flyball down the first-base line. It landed out of reach of three Braves fielders to score Jenista. Dayton Dugas’ groundball scored Troutwine to cut the lead to 9-8.

With two outs, Chase Rader smacked another groundball at Leffler, who threw high to first baseman Paul Solka. He jumped to catch the ball and tried to tag Rader, who beat the throw to score Bohm and tie the game.

Bradley

ab

r

h

bi

bb

so

avg

Mangieri dh

6

2

2

1

0

1

.291

Gaa 3b

6

2

3

1

0

0

.322

Leffler ss

5

1

3

2

0

1

.344

Solka 1b

4

1

1

1

1

2

.319

Gruener lf

5

0

3

3

0

0

.298

Shadid cf

5

1

1

1

0

1

.318

Kristan c

5

0

1

0

0

2

.273

Fairchild c

0

0

0

0

0

0

.255

Garon rf

5

0

0

0

0

2

.151

Gasso 2b

4

2

3

0

1

0

.300

Totals

45

9

17

9

2

9

Wichita State

Mucha cf

5

1

1

1

0

0

.321

Ritter 2b

4

1

2

0

0

0

.299

Kirk 2b-ss

2

0

0

0

0

0

.252

Jenista 1b

5

2

2

3

1

1

327

Troutwine c

4

1

1

0

2

0

.303

Bohm dh

6

1

2

2

0

0

.300

Dugas rf

5

1

2

1

0

1

.316

Rader 3b

4

0

0

0

1

0

.247

Young lf

3

1

1

0

0

1

.267

DeBacker lf

2

0

1

0

0

0

.263

Vickers ss

3

1

2

1

0

0

.292

Tinkham ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.233

Eaton 2b

0

1

0

0

1

0

.114

Totals

44

10

14

8

5

3

Bradley

300

100

320

0

9 17 3

WSU

000

042

003

1

10 14 0

Two outs when winning run scored.

E — Leffler 2 (11), Kristan (3). DP — WSU 2. LOB — Bradley 8, WSU 11. 2B — Leffler (17), Solka (10), Gruener 3 (11), Gasso (2), Jenista (5), Bohm (8), Young (4). 3B — Leffler (2). HR — Mangieri (1, Shadid (6), Jenista (4). S — Mucha (5). SB — Dugas (3), Rader (2).

Bradley

ip

h

r

er

bb

so

era

B. Stong

6

10

6

5

0

3

2.49

N. Stong

1 1/3

1

0

0

1

0

4.60

Beer

1 2/3

2

3

2

1

0

3.46

Hurst L,0-2

 2/3

0

1

1

2

0

6.08

Cilano

0

1

0

0

0

0

2.25

Wichita State

Schwanke

1

4

3

3

1

1

3.40

McGinness

5 1/3

5

3

3

1

5

7.39

Hayes

1 1/3

6

3

3

0

1

9.64

Williams

1 2/3

2

0

0

0

2

8.25

Heuer W,1-0

 2/3

0

0

0

0

0

12.3

WP — B. Stong (1), Beer (1). Umpires — home, Matt Anderson; first, Matt McKendry; third, Greg Mudd. T — 3:22. A — 2083.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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