NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSNW) – Junior right-handers Liam Eddy and Foster Gifford teamed-up to spin a one-hitter, helping the Wichita State University baseball team secure a 5-1 victory over the Northwestern State Demons Saturday afternoon, Feb. 15, at Brown-Stroud Field.
The win was the first of the season for the Shockers (1-1) and the inaugural collegiate triumph for new WSU head coach Eric Wedge.
Wichita State is scheduled to face Northwestern State (1-1) in the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16.
Eddy and Gifford – both Brighton, Colo., natives – combined to throw the 36th one-hitter in program history and the first since May 22, 2014, when the Shockers defeated Southern Illinois, 2-1 in 12 innings, in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Terre Haute, Ind.
Eddy (1-0) had a career day on the mound, earning his first win of 2020 in impressive fashion. He struck out a career-high 10 batters in a career-best eight innings and allowed just one hit and one earned run on exactly 100 pitches. He also eclipsed 100 career strikeouts in the contest.
Gifford, who made his Wichita State debut Saturday, tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth, inducing three straight fly outs on eight pitches, sealing the victory for WSU.
Junior first baseman Garrett Kocis paced Wichita State at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a homer and double, while Hunter Gibson, Couper Cornblum and Derek Shaver each had a pair of hits, respectively.
The Shockers wasted little time jumping on top of the Demons, gaining a 1-0 lead after Kocis belted an 0-1 pitch over the right-center wall in the top of the second for his first home run of the season.
WSU added a run in the top of the fourth, increasing its advantage to 2-1 when Cornblum drove in Kocis via a two-out RBI single through the left side, before Northwestern State cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the bottom-half of the frame.
The Shockers increased their lead to 3-1 in the seventh after Alex Jackson hit a single to left field, allowing Jacob Katzfey to race home, and made it 4-1 with a run in the eighth when Shaver rolled a single up the middle to bring in Cade Clemons.
Wichita State put a cap on the game with a run in the ninth after Jack Sigrist crossed the plate on a Demon error.
Marshall Skinner had the lone hit of the game, leading Northwestern State offensively.
Demon starter Reed Michel (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up two earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in five innings of work.