WICHITA, Kan.- Wichita State (43-15) is now the only undefeated team left in the MVC Tournament as the Shockers blasted past No. 2 Missouri State, 20-3.
The offensive show was highlighted by two-run shots from Conor Gillaspie and Tyler Weber. Weber added a grand slam to cap the seventh inning and the 20 runs. Gillaspie picked up his eighth homer of the year and Weber added his fifth and sixth homeruns. Gillaspie finished the day at 3-for-4 with three runs and five RBI. Weber had a game-high six RBI.
Andy Dirks doubled to start off the game and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Jones. Gillaspie brought the run home with a single placed in left field. The bases were loaded with a Clint McKeever fielder’s choice, a walk to Dusty Coleman and a Josh Workman infield single. Tyler Weber hit a grounder to second baseman Chris Playter and the junior infielder made a stop, but couldn’t come up with the throw, allowing Weber to reach and two runs to score.
The Shockers didn’t let up in the second, as Kevin Hall walked and Dirks was hit by a pitch before Jones moved them over with his second sacrifice bunt in as many at bats. Gillaspie loaded the bases with an intentional walk, and MSU starter Buddy Baumann still struggled with the strike zone, giving McKeever a free pass on four-straight balls and an RBI as Hall was pushed across home. Coleman reached a full count, but the result was the same, a walk and RBI for the sophomore shortstop. Trouble for Baumann continued as his own error resulted in a run and no outs on a fielder’s choice by Workman. Singles by Tyler Hill and Hall combined for three more runs as the Shockers took a commanding 9-0 lead after two.
The Bears got on board in the fourth with a three-run homer, just fair in left field, by sophomore Ben Carlson. Brayden Drake and Josh Mazzola were aboard with singles before Carlson’s 17th shot of the season.
Dirks singled home Hall and Gillaspie lifted his homerun to right-center, getting those three runs back and extending it to, 12-3, in the top of the fifth.
Workman reached on a double in the sixth and Weber hit his first homer over 21st street, into a vacant lot adjacent to the field.
Gillaspie doubled in two to keep it going in the seventh and McKeever and Workman joined him on base before Weber’s second shot, a grand slam again to left field.
WSU’s Aaron Shafer pitched the seven-inning game for the Shockers, allowing three earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out eight.
Missouri State faces Southern Illinois in the elimination game at 7 p.m. The winner will face Wichita State in the championship Saturday.