The Wichita State University baseball team defeated the Kansas State Wildcats, 8-5, Wednesday, March 27, at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field.
The Shockers (13-12, 2-1 American), who have won seven of their last 10 games, are scheduled to host Bethune-Cookman in the opening game of a three-game series Friday, March 29, at noon.
Sophomore Garrett Kocis homered for the second straight game, while Luke Ritter, Mason O’Brien and Hunter Gibson each doubled, leading Wichita State at the plate.
Redshirt freshman right-hander Ryan Stuempfig (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory on the mound after tossing five innings and allowing one earned run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts, while Mitchell Walters threw a scoreless ninth inning to secure his team-best fourth save of 2019.
WSU wasted no time jumping out to a lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first on a pair of back-to-back RBI doubles to left-center from Ritter and O’Brien. The RBI from Ritter marked his 100th career run driven in.
Kansas State (11-14) cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the top of the second, but the Shockers responded in the bottom-half of the inning after Kocis crushed a solo shot over the right field wall, building the advantage to 3-1. Kocis’ back-to-back homers marked the first time a Shocker went deep in consecutive contests since Greyson Jenista went back-to-back against South Dakota State and USF in 2018.
Wichita State increased its lead to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the third. Gibson scored on a Wildcat error for the opening run of the frame, prior to Ritter racing home on a sacrifice fly off Paxton Wallace’s bat for the second run.
The Shockers added on to their advantage in the fifth, plating two runs on a Ross Cadena RBI single to left and a failed pickoff attempt error from K-State pitcher Brett Lockwood, making it 7-1.
The Wildcats didn’t go quietly though, and plated a combined four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to trim the Shocker advantage to 7-5.
Wichita State got a run back in the bottom of the eighth, however, after Cadena scored on a wild pitch, pushing the WSU lead to 8-5.
Zach Kokoska and Rainer Ausmus each had two hits, leading K-State offensively.
Wildcat starter Kasey Ford (0-1) suffered the loss after surrendering three earned runs and two unearned runs on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk in two innings of work.