EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Wichita State held on to defeat Evansville 9-8 in game two of a three-game series.
Will Baez went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a home run, while Ryan Jones went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Preston Springer also drove in two runs, while Clint McKeever and Chris O'Brien added two hits each.
Starter Tim Kelley earned the win going seven innings and giving up four runs on 10 hits. Grant Muncrief earned his first save of the season.
Preston Springer and Travis Bennett led off the second inning with back-to-back walks for the Shockers. A wild pitch advanced them both into scoring position and an error by UE gave WSU a 1-0 lead. A single by Chris O'Brien scored Bennett to put the Shocks in front 2-0.
The Aces answered with a run in the bottom of the second. Trentt Copeland led off with a single and stole second and came around to score on a single by Nate Smith. Chris O'Brien threw out Smith trying to steal second and Tim Kelley struck out the final two batters of the inning to preserve the 2-1 lead.
The Shockers tacked on two more in the third. Tyler Grimes reached on a one-out walk and scored on Ryan Jones' triple to right centerfield. A sacrifice fly by Springer put the Shockers in front 4-1.
The Aces cut the lead to 4-2 with a run in the third, but the Shockers responded with one in the fourth to make the score 5-2. UE added two more in the fourth for a 5-4 score.
Will Baez hit his first home run of the season in the sixth and Ryan Jones singled in Tyler Grimes to add on another run for a 7-4 advantage. Springer added a solo home run in the eighth to make the score 8-4, but the Aces would answer.
The first five hitters of the eighth inning all reached base off Shocker reliever Justin Kemp. With three runs already in and runners at first and third with no outs, Greg Wallace was caught stealing second base. Grant Muncrief then came in the game and needed just two pitches to retire the next two batters on a line out to third and a fly ball to right field to preserve the 8-7 lead.
Clint McKeever led off the ninth with a double to left center and scored on a single up the middle by Kevin Hall to give the Shockers an important insurance run at 9-7.
UE led off the ninth with back-to-back singles, but Muncrief struck out Ryan Oesterle when he bunted foul with two strikes. Pinch hitter Shawn Kuester then singled through the right side to drive in Nate Smith, but Alex Acheson grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Shockers and Aces finish the three-game series on Sun., April 4 at 1 p.m.