WICHITA, Kan.- Both Garrett Bayliff and Casey Gillaspie went 2-for-3 at the plate, both had two RBI, and each hit their first home run of the season. For Bayliff, it was the first of his Shocker career as Wichita State improved to 2-0 on the season with a 7-3 win over SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday afternoon.
A.J. Ladwig earned the win by pitching 5.2 innings that included six strikeouts, five hits, and two unearned runs. Ray Ashford earned the first save of the season as well.
Ladwig opened up the game with a perfect three up, three down first inning, striking out two batters in the process. In the bottom half of the inning, Bayliff singled to right and scored when Gillaspie blasted a two-run home run over the centerfield wall to give Wichita State an early 2-0 lead.
Bayliff hit his first career home run in the bottom of the fifth inning that gave the Shockers a 4-0 lead. Bayliff took the first pitch he saw from SIU-Edwardsville pitcher Mike Miller over the right field wall for a two-run home run.
SIU-Edwardsville cut into the Wichita State lead with two runs in the top-half of the sixth inning. Skyler Geissinger doubled to right center that scored Nick Lombardo and Chase Green scored on a RBI groundout from Alec Saikal to narrow the scoring margin to 4-2.
Wichita State got a run back in the bottom half of the sixth inning when Tanner Kirk came around to score on Mikel Mucha’s double that gave the Shockers a 5-2 advantage after six innings of play.
The Cougars scored another run in the seventh inning when Lombardo doubled with two outs and scored on a single up the middle by Geissinger, his second RBI of the game. SIU-Edwardsville would load the bases and looked to possibly tie the game with another hit but relief pitcher Ray Ashford struck out Saikal to end the Cougar threat.
To start the seventh inning for Wichita State, Bayliff was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a Gillaspie double. Bayliff scored on a sacrifice fly from Chase Simpson and Gillaspie scored on a sacrifice fly from Micah Green for a 7-3 Shocker lead.
Ashford recorded the final seven outs for Wichita State to earn his first save of the season.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Eck Stadium.