WICHITA, Kan.- Despite coming back from a six-run deficit, Wichita State (36-12) only came with in one, 10-9, falling short of a victory against Central Arkansas (23-24).
Wichita State had trouble wrangling the Bears’ bats as Central Arkansas went off for five homeruns in the nine-inning contest.
The Bears used sacrifices to round the first run in the top of inning one. Back-to-back singles by Kevin Rawls and Josh Huffman started the game and Rawls crossed on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Davis and a sacrifice fly by Kent Taylor.
Dusty Coleman doubled in three runs with a hit to right-center. Josh Workman reached on an error by the second baseman and the bases were loaded with a walk to Ryan Jones and a plunked Andy Dirks, before Coleman cleared the bases with his hit. Mitch Caster brought in the runner from scoring position with a single deep at shortstop.
Central Arkansas exploded for seven runs in the second, which included three homers. Payton Seelinger singled to lead off the inning and Scott Cline followed with a homerun to left-center. The Shockers got one down before Justin Kemp gave up a solo shot to Graham Martin. Rawls was issued a walk and Huffman reached on a single, signaling the end for Kemp. Andy Womack took over and continued the struggle. Davis walked, loading the bags with Bears, and Taylor sacrificed to plate Rawls. Chris Houk used a three-run homer to extend the UCA lead 8-3.
Martin started off the third with a solo bomb to center field, his first homerun of the season. Cline hit his second of the game in the top of the fifth off the first pitch of the inning from Matt Smith.
Wichita State scratched one out in the fifth after a lead off walk to Dirks. A Caster single and sacrifice fly from Tyler Weber did the trick, making it 10-4.
The Shockers kept hopes alive, posting three runs in the eighth, all with no hits. Kevin Hall and Cody Lassley drew back-to-back walks and everyone was safe on a Workman fielder’s choice as the pitcher hesitated to make a throw. Dirks and Coleman pushed two across with free passes and run three scored on a wild pitch.
WSU kept it exciting in the ninth with a lead off single by Weber. Ryan Engrav was hit by the first pitch of his at bat and Cody Lassley doubled down the left field line, driving in Taylor Brown, running for Weber. With runners at second and third, Workman went down on three-straight strikes and Jones popped up to the infield. Dirks was intentionally walked, but Coleman grounded into a fielder’s choice , ending the threat and the game.
Wichita State faces off Wednesday night against Arizona State, who also suffered a loss, 7-6, to Kansas State Tuesday night. The match up against the two ranked teams begins at 7 p.m. at Eck Stadium.