WICHITA, Kan.- The Wichita State baseball team earned a series victory over Evansville with a 6-5 win. Tyler Baker hit a go ahead solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
The Shockers improved to 23-18 and 9-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference. They are tied atop the Valley with Missouri State. Evansville drops to 15-25 (6-5).
Brandon Peterson picked up the win. He improved to 2-0 on the season. Brent Jurceka earned the loss for Evansville. He falls to 1-4 on the year.
Drew Palmer started the game by retiring the side in the first. He struck out two of the first three batters he faced in the inning. Palmer followed it up with a 1-2-3 second inning.
Kyle Pollock gave Evansville the lead in the top of the third. A strong wind carried his first home run of the season over the left field wall.
Two batters later, Kevin Kaczmarski sent a flyball that sailed over the fence for his fourth home run of the season. David Patton who had singled, scored on the dinger and the Purple Aces led 3-0 after three innings.
The Shockers responded in the fifth. Taylor Doggett picked up a one out single to center. Josh Biggs plunked Tanner Dearman to give the Shockers two base runners.
Garrett Bayliff slugged a single to left to drive in Doggett. Dearman came home on a RBI fielder’s choice by Erik Harbutz. The Shockers cut the Evansville lead to 3-2 after five frames.
Evansville bounced back in the top of sixth. Jonathan Ramon gave the Purple Aces their third home run of the day. The solo shot was Ramon’s second of the year and put the Shockers in a 4-2 hole.
The home run also ended Palmer’s day. The Shocker starter pitched 5.2 innings giving up four runs, all earned, on six hits. The junior struck out three and did not walk a batter.
In the bottom half, the Shockers fought back. Casey Gillaspie smacked a leadoff single. Johnny Coy followed with a double down the left field line to end the day for Biggs.
The Evansville starter finished with five innings pitched surrendering four earned runs. Biggs left with two strikeouts and one walk. He also hit three batters.
His replacement Tyler Miller threw a wild pitch that allowed Gillaspie to score. Baker plated Coy on a sacrifice fly to deep center.
A two –out hit and run allowed Mikel Mucha to give the Shockers the lead on a Tanner Dearman single. Mucha, who had reached base on a fielder’s choice, gave the Shockers a 5-4 lead.
Evansville knotted it up in the top of the eighth. Kaczmarski singled. He would later score on a Jason Hockemeyer base knock.
In the bottom of the eighth, Baker smashed his fourth home run of the season. The lead off bomb to right field gave the Shockers a 6-5 lead.
Baker had two hits in three at bats and drove in two runs. He improved his average to .340 on the season.
The Shockers will travel to Oklahoma State on Tuesday, before retuning home for a mid-week game with Oral Roberts Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.