Wichita State’s last chance to win on the road before the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament is also its best chance.
The Shockers, 3-16 on the road, play at Illinois State this weekend. The Redbirds are 4-13 at home and haven’t won a home series this season. WSU (18-31, 7-8 MVC) is tied for fifth in the Valley, but two games behind second-place Indiana State and Southern Illinois with six remaining. Illinois State (15-31, 5-9) is in seventh place.
On May 25, the Shockers will play in the MVC Tournament in Terre Haute, Ind. Coach Todd Butler has been pointing toward the tournament for at least a month.
Injuries wrecked his pitching rotation and WSU will start the same pitchers on Friday and Saturday in consecutive MVC series for the first time. Sophomore Cody Tyler makes his sixth conference start on Friday. Freshman Clayton McGinness makes his second MVC start on Saturday.
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WSU’s offense, with freshmen populating three of the top four spots in the batting order in recent games, is continuing to improve. The Shockers are hitting .297 in MVC games, tops in the conference, with 11 home runs and 24 doubles.
Freshman right fielder Dayton Dugas (.385), third baseman Alec Bohm (.378) and first baseman Grayson Jenista (.351) rank in the top 12 for batting average in MVC games.
Wichita State at Illinois State
- When: 3 p.m. Friday
- Where: Bass Field, Normal, Ill.
- Records: WSU 18-31, 7-8 MVC; ISU 15-31, 5-9
- Pitchers: WSU, LH Cody Tyler (3-2, 4.38 ERA); ISU, RH Steve Heilenbach (5-3, 2.85)
- Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM