WICHITA - Another big day at the plate for Cody Lassley helped No. 24 Wichita State even the series against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, 5-3.
Lassley finished the afternoon just a double shy of the cycle on Saturday, posting a 3-for-4 day that included his fourth home run of the season. The senior catcher pushed his average to .714, further propelling his red hot start to the season.
Matching that effort on the mound was Shocker starter Jordan Cooper (2-0). Allowing just two earned runs, Cooper worked through eight innings and surrendered just five hits. One of which was a two-run homer to left from Eagle center fielder Luke Smierciak, to lead FGCU at the plate.
Shortstop Stephen Wickens wasted no time extending his hot streak when he tagged Cooper's first offering of the game to left field. His double was his fourth-consecutive hit of the series.
Cooper dismissed the leadoff hitter by sitting the next three Eagles in order before his offense arrived in the second inning. Lassley highlighted the three-run inning when he sent Erath's delivery over the left field wall for the first run of the game.
The Shocks tacked on a couple more after getting some help from some timely Eagles' mishaps. Senior left fielder Travis Bennett took second when his fly to left was dropped and senior first baseman Clint McKeever drew the walk to put another runner on. A dropped third strike sent Bennett to the plate while sophomore shortstop Tyler Grimes reached on the fielder's choice, plating McKeever and giving the Shocks the 3-0 lead.
Cooper would make the early edge stand until the top of the fifth. Designated hitter Kurtis Mullaney doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. A throwing error sent him to the plate and left Josh Chester on base to benefit from Smierciak's homer to tie the game, 3-3.
After allowing his first runs of the season, Eagles starter Richie Erath's day was done when R.J. Brown came in to start the sixth. Called upon to pinch hit, senior Bret Bascue welcomed Brown to the game when he blasted a long homerun to left to give the Shockers the lead they wouldn't give up.
Senior second baseman Will Baez extended his hit streak to nine games in the bottom of the seventh and freshman Preston Springer's sacrifice fly knocked him in for the final run of the game.
The Shockers and Eagles will wrap up the series on Sunday at noon at Eck Stadium Home of Tyler Field.