LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson won his 1,800th career game with a 9-5 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock. Stephenson is the second Division I baseball coach to reach 1,800 wins and is the fastest to do it in just 36 years.
Casey Gillaspie went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a home run, while Erik Harbutz went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Starter A.J. Ladwig earned the win. He went five innings and gave up four runs and tied his career-high with six strikeouts. TJ McGreevy picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless 2.1 innings of relief.
The Shockers jumped on the board in the first inning. Garrett Bayliff singled to left-center with one out and after a single through the right side from Casey Gillaspie, Erik Harbutz singled off the shortstop's glove with two outs to WSU a 1-0 lead.
The Trojans answered in the bottom of the first. With one out, A.J. Ladwig hit Austin Pfeiffer and with two outs John Clark drove in Pfeiffer with a single to left field to tie the score at one.
Tyler Baker's second home run of the year gave the Shocks a 2-1 lead in the second inning and after Taylor Doggett singled to left-center with one out, he stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch for a 3-1 Shocker lead.
Gillaspie led off the third with a walk and after a single from Johnny Coy and a walk to Daniel Kihle loaded the bases with one out, Dayne Parker drove a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly to score Gillaspie for a 4-1 Shocker lead.
The Trojans used three hits a wild pitch to score two in the third to cut the lead to 4-3.
With two outs and nobody on base in the fourth, Bayliff was hit by a pitch and scored on Gillaspie's homer to right-center for a 6-3 lead.
Blake Johnson's solo home run in the fifth pulled UALR to within 6-4 and the Trojans added another run in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-5.
WSU used two hits and four walks to score three more in the ninth for the 9-5 win.
The Shockers are next in action on Fri., March 1 against Western Illinois at 11 a.m. in Little Rock, Ark.