Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State beats No. 25 Creighton 7-3

Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm tags out Creighton’s Nicky Lopez in the first inning at Eck Stadium on Tuesday.
Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm tags out Creighton’s Nicky Lopez in the first inning at Eck Stadium on Tuesday. The Wichita Eagle

As the designated hitter for Wichita State, Travis Young isn’t supposed to take the field. But the freshman couldn’t help himself when he sprung out of the home dugout and met reliever Chase Williams nearly in fair territory as Williams came off the mound after escaping the top of the seventh – a crucial moment in the Shockers’ 7-3 win over No. 25 Creighton.

“I was just telling him that’s what we expect of him,” Young said. “I don’t think there was a doubt in the dugout that he was going to get the job done. You could tell he wanted it, and everyone believed in him. It was huge. It was a huge moment in the game.”

The key moment came with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh when Williams forced Brett Murray into an inning-ending grounder to short. The lead was just 4-2 at the time, and Murray had previously shown his power with a 400-foot solo homer in the second inning.

But Williams wasn’t phased by the potential power of the man at the plate. He didn’t realize it was the same guy.

“I had no idea. I don’t want to know that. It doesn’t matter,” Williams said. “You try not to make the moment bigger than what it is. At the end of the day it’s just a game. I’m just trying to have fun and focus on my job; not everyone else on base. My job is delivering the pitch and doing the best I can.”

Williams’ pitch got Murray to ground out and earned him a slap on the back from Young and the rest of his teammates. Young, who went 3 for 4 for the second time in his last four games, drove in two runs from his spot at the bottom of the order.

Young said he recently tweaked his approach at the place to better mirror the closed stance that brought him success last fall. Those types of midseason adjustments from freshmen show a sign of maturity that has pleased head coach Todd Butler.

“Some of these young guys are getting the chance to play and they’re climbing,” Butler said. “Travis Young had an outstanding night tonight. Those young players are getting a lot of at bats and they’re doing a good job.”

Another freshman, right fielder Dayton Dugas, also shone in the win. After striking out twice, he was targeted by Creighton in the seventh when they intentionally walked Trey Vickers to load the bases and get to Dugas. Facing a 1-1 count, Dugas ripped a liner between short and third, driving in two runs for a 7-2 lead that blew the game open.

“It was a big hit,” Butler said. “Dayton gets the big hit, and that’s what we’re looking for – trying to move ahead and have more runs.”

The cushion was more than enough for Williams and fellow relievers Tyler Jones and John Hayes, who threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings to close out the win. Butler said he was pleased with that bullpen order.

“What you saw tonight in the seventh, eighth and ninth is what we would like to do with Williams, Jones and Hayes,” he said. “Get the ball to those guys if our starters can go six innings in conference, if not seven, and then hand the ball off to those guys those innings.”

Williams only pitched two-thirds of an inning, bailing out Zach Lewis, who threw three scoreless innings of middle relief before getting into trouble in the seventh. Lewis (2-8) still got the win.

The Shockers have a key, three-game series at Illinois State this weekend before returning home next week for a single game against Kansas on Tuesday and another important three-game conference series against Dallas Baptist at Eck Stadium to close out the regular season.

Tuesday night’s victory over the 25th-ranked team in the nation may give the Shockers the momentum and confidence they need for these more important series.

“It shows we’re constantly growing,” Williams said. “No one’s raising the white flag. We’re a team full of people who don’t want to give up. So no matter what the season entails all that matters is the end result – postseason, conference tournament – that’s all that matters.”

Creighton

ab

r

h

bi

bb

so

avg

Woodrow cf

5

1

3

0

0

1

.363

Lopez ss

4

0

2

0

0

0

.307

Fowler 1b

5

0

0

1

0

2

.248

Gandy dh

3

0

1

0

2

0

.274

Murray lf

4

1

3

1

0

0

.293

Crawford 3b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.223

Fitzgerald 2b

3

0

1

1

0

0

.242

Connolly rf

4

0

0

0

0

3

.296

Emodi c

3

0

1

0

0

0

.186

Hammer ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.172

Oren

0

0

0

0

0

0

.156

Totals

36

3

12

3

2

6

Wichita State

Ritter 2b

5

0

2

1

0

1

.299

Mucha cf

4

1

2

1

1

0

.309

Bohm 3b

3

1

1

0

1

0

.306

Jenista 1b

3

1

1

0

0

0

.315

Troutwine c

4

0

0

0

0

0

.287

Vickers ss

3

1

1

0

1

0

.315

Dugas rf

3

0

1

2

1

2

.311

DeBacker lf

4

2

2

0

0

0

.315

Young dh

4

1

3

2

0

1

.293

Totals

33

7

13

6

4

4

Creighton

011

000

010

3 12 1

Wichita St.

002

101

30x

7 13 2

E — Crawford (9), Ritter (5), Bohm (8). DP — Creighton 3, WSU. LOB — Creighton 10, WSU 7. 2B — Woodrow (6), Murray (7). 3B — Crawford (1). HR — Murray (2). S — Lopez (9), Jennista (1). SF — Fitzgerald (5). SB — DeBacker (3). CS — Murray (5), Ritter (2).

Creighton

ip

h

r

er

bb

so

era

Stroschein

3

6

2

2

0

1

4.86

Ramirez L,0-1

0

1

1

1

1

0

5.40

Miller

1

1

0

0

0

1

3.63

DeCaster

2

3

1

1

1

1

2.77

Highberger

1 2/3

2

3

2

2

1

2.51

Oltman

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

0.45

Wichita State

Heuer

3

6

2

2

1

1

7.94

Lewis W,2-8

3 1/3

4

0

0

0

2

6.07

Williams

 2/3

0

0

0

1

1

7.62

Jones

1

1

1

1

0

1

6.12

Hayes

1

1

0

0

0

1

8.70

WP — Ramirez (1), Miller (3), Williams (8). Umpires — home, Doug McClure, first, Greg Mudd; third, Ben Harlow. T — 2:33. A — 2,270.

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