WICHITA - Senior outfielder Ryan Jones racked up five RBI as the Wichita State University baseball team cruised to a 14-2 non-conference win over Central Arkansas Tuesday evening.
WSU improves to 8-1 on the year while Central Arkansas falls to 4-7.
Jones had three hits in three trips to the plate for the Shockers, while Erik Harbutz had three RBI in five at-bats.
Tyler Grimes went 2-for-3 with three RBI while Preston Springer was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Josh Smith held the Bears to only one run on two hits while striking out seven to collect his second win of the season.
Despite giving up a leadoff hit to Jordan Getchall and tossing a wild pitch to put him on third, Smith left him there to end the top of the first. His offense showed up as soon as they were able, tacking on three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Harbutz blasted his second home run of the season after senior Will Baez extended his hit streak to 11 games with a leadoff single in the first inning. Bears starter Reece Cross struggled to find his rhythm as he walked senior Ryan Jones to load the bases. He handed out another one in four straight pitches to sophomore shortstop Tyler Grimes to walk in a run and hand the Shocks the early 3-0 lead.
A five-spot in the third ended Cross' day as the Bear's righty was charged with six runs on seven hits through two innings of work. Tyler Hardin, who relieved Cross, did not fare much better against the potent Shocker offense as Hardin allowed five runs on five hits in an inning and a third.
Baez went 2-for-4 with a run scored for WSU.
The Shockers put up a three-spot in the fourth inning as Jones, Grimes and Kevin Hall each had RBI hits. Wichita State added a run in the fifth, sixth and eight innings to cap the scoring.
Hall was 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.
Kyle Prevett was 2-for-2 for Central Arkansas with a run scored.
The Shockers will be back in action on Wednesday, Mar. 10, when they host the Bears for the finale of the two-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.