Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State’s injury problems worsen before Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Kansas State

Wichita State players watch as Kansas State pulls out the victory 5-2 at Eck Stadium on Wednesday night.
Wichita State players watch as Kansas State pulls out the victory 5-2 at Eck Stadium on Wednesday night. The Wichita Eagle

Another loss for Wichita State and the injury list grows longer.

If coach Todd Butler thought things couldn’t get worse, that changed this week.

Pitcher Willie Schwanke, sidelined by tightness in his right biceps, was in Dallas on Wednesday to get his arm examined. Butler is not optimistic about his top pitcher throwing again this season. Schwanke, a junior with a 5-3 record and a 3.40 ERA, missed most of last season with a torn lat muscle and that may again be the problem.

“It’s the same injury as last year, it looks like,” Butler said. “I’ll know when he gets back from Texas. It does not look good for him to be able to pitch this season.”

Kansas State handled the Shockers 5-2 on Wednesday at Eck Stadium to sweep the two-game series and drop WSU to 0-9 against Big 12 schools. WSU wasted plenty of solid contact — 11 hits, five of them doubles — by striking out a season-high 15 times against five Kansas State pitchers.

The injuries, however, are a bigger problem.

Senior designated hitter Ryan Tinkham sat out with a back injury. Senior second baseman Tanner Kirk missed his second game with a sore throwing arm. Senior third baseman Chase Rader is sidelined by an inner ear infection, an illness that bothered him much of last season. While WSU freshmen had usurped some of their playing time in recent games, the loss of experience and depth hits hard. In addition to the possibility of Schwanke’s season-ending injury, WSU is also without starting pitcher Sam Tewes, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March.

WSU (16-29) has lost three straight and started four freshmen and three sophomores against the Wildcats (23-23). With Schwanke out, Butler will add freshman Codi Heuer to his weekend rotation to join sophomore Cody Tyler and freshman Clayton McGinness, none of which threw an inning for WSU last season.

“You can’t sulk on it and you can’t let it get to you,” WSU center fielder Mikel Mucha said. “Freshman, it doesn’t matter what age you are when that kind of stuff happens.”

The mood is quite different for the Wildcats, who defeated the Shockers for the seventh time in the past eight games. They climbed back to .500 with their seventh win in eight games.

Freshman starter Logan Wiley struck out a career-high 10 in five innings, baffling the Shockers with a 75-mph curveball. He gave up a leadoff double to Luke Ritter in the first and struck out the next three hitters. In the second, he worked around a two-out double and again struck out the side.

“Pretty good composure for a young guy,” Wildcats coach Brad Hill said. “He was pitching in trouble a lot, but found a way to pitch himself out of it.”

WSU wasted another leadoff double in the fifth when Wiley produced two popups and a strikeout.

“We had to put the ball in play,” Mucha said. “We had a couple times when we had a runner at second and we didn’t do anything with it. That kind of did it for us.”

The Shockers failed to cash in doubles. The Wildcats made the most of leadoff walks. They totaled seven hits, two of them doubles. In the early innings, Kansas State executed sharply, at the plate and on the bases. It led 4-2, helped by three WSU errors, before Quintin Crandall’s ninth-inning double added another run.

“We made the hits count,” Hill said. “That last run was the big one for me, because we really idle. They had been threatening most of the night.”

The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Crandall and a single by Michael Smith.

WSU’s defense failed it in the third when, with the infield in, shortstop Trey Vickers took his eye off a bouncing ball off the bat of Tyler Wolfe and it skipped into center. Josh Rolette scored from second. Tyler Moore, who doubled, scored for a 4-0 lead while the Shockers chased Wolfe in a rundown between first and second.

WSU cut the lead to 4-1 on Gunnar Troutwine’s sacrifice fly, driving in Ritter, in the bottom of the third. Zach Reding doubled for the second time to lead off the seventh and Vickers drove in pinch-runner Bret Fehr to cut the lead to 5-2. The Shockers, with two on and no outs, sacrificed the runners into scoring position. No. 2 hitter Greyson Jenista, who struck out three times, and No. 3 hitter Alec Bohm grounded out to end that threat.

Worth noting — Bohm doubled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, the season-best for any Shocker. … Wiley entered the game with 22 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. … Vickers, who homered in Tuesday’s 9-5 loss at K-State, went 4 for 8 in the two games. … K-State catcher Tyler Moore went 4 for 8 with three RBI in the two games. … The Wildcats are 17-7 against the Shockers since 2005, 8-4 at Eck Stadium. WSU leads the series 52-38.

KSU

ab

r

h

bi

bb

so

avg

Dalrymple cf

4

0

1

0

1

0

.355

Wodtke ss

2

0

0

0

0

0

.301

Krause ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.167

Ethier 2b-3b

0

0

0

0

0

0

.195

Rolette dh

2

1

0

0

2

1

.308

Scudder 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.315

Moore c

4

1

2

0

0

0

.335

Wolfe 2b-ss

3

1

0

1

1

0

.270

Bunnell 3b-2b

4

2

2

0

0

1

.255

Crandall lf

3

0

1

2

0

1

.253

Smith rf

3

0

1

1

0

0

.298

Totals

30

5

7

4

4

3

WSU

Ritter 2b

4

1

2

0

0

1

.299

Jenista 1b

5

0

1

0

0

3

.302

Bohm 3b

5

0

1

0

0

2

.292

Troutwine c

3

0

0

1

0

3

.288

Mucha cf

4

0

1

0

0

2

..296

Dugas rf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.302

Reding dh

3

0

2

0

0

0

.262

Fehr dh

1

1

0

0

0

1

.000

Eaton lf

1

0

0

0

1

1

.125

DeBacker lf

2

0

2

0

0

0

.295

Vickers ss

4

0

2

1

0

1

.310

Totals

36

2

11

2

1

15

KSU

022

000

001

5 7 0

WSU

001

000

100

2 11 3

E — Bohm (5), Vickers (9), Williams (1). LOB — KSU 5, WSU 10. 2B — Moore (11), Crandall (4), Ritter (7), Reding 2 (7), Bohm (10), Vickers (4). S — Crandall (7), Ritter (2). SF — Troutwine (3). SB — Dalrymple (14). CS — Wodtke (5), Krause (1), Crandall (1).

KSU

ip

h

r

er

bb

so

era

Wiley W,3-1

5

5

1

1

1

10

5.08

Kalmus

1

2

1

1

0

1

5.26

N.Jones

1

1

0

0

0

0

4.50

Zubradz

1

1

0

0

0

2

2.66

Benenati S,5

1

2

0

0

0

2

3.38

WSU

Evans L,0-1

2

2

2

2

2

0

6;75

Heuer

1

1

2

1

1

1

8.50

Lewis

3

1

0

0

0

2

6.04

Williams

1

0

0

0

1

0

7.96

T.Jones

2

3

1

1

0

0

5.70

WP — Wiley (3), Lewis (4). HBP — Wodtke (by Lewis), Smith (by T.Jones). Umpires — home, Ryan Karle; first, Greg Harmon; third, Terry Harrison. T — 2:58. A — 3,131.

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