WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita State baseball team picked up a much needed series split with an 11-9 win over No. 8 East Carolina on Sunday at Eck Stadium.
With the win, the Shockers earn a 2-2 series split with the Pirates and improve to 22-17 overall and 10-9 in The American, while ECU drops to 30-9 on the season and 12-4 in conference play.
Aaron Haase, a sophomore right-hander from Amarillo, Texas, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings after entering the game with two outs in the top of the seventh, allowing no earned runs on just two hits to lock down his team and American Athletic Conference-best eighth save of the season.
Ross Cadena went 3-for-5 with his second homer of the season, while Chuck Ingram also homered, and Couper Cornblum added two hits, including a double, and drove in a game-high three runs, leading Wichita State at the plate.
WSU reliever LJ McDonough (1-0) picked up the win on the mound after allowing two unearned runs on two hits with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.
The Shockers used a six-run first inning to race out to a 6-2 lead after the Pirates had scored two in the top of the inning.
Corrigan Bartlett worked a bases loaded walk for the first run of the inning, before Cornblum smacked a two-RBI single to right field, putting WSU in front, 3-2. Seth Stroh drove in two more runs on a single to center, and Andrew Stewart batted-in run number six of the frame on a RBI single through the left side.
Wichita State proceeded to score a run in the second on Cadena’s leadoff homer to left center, before plating two each in the third and fourth, opening up an 11-3 advantage.
Ingram crushed a one-out, solo homer over the scoreboard in left field for the opening run of the third, before Jack Sigrist drove in Stewart on a single to center for the second run of the inning.
Cornblum belted an RBI double to left center, increasing WSU’s lead to 10-3 in the fourth, before crossing home plate before Ingram was picked off, increasing the Shocker advantage to 11-3.
The Pirates mounted a furious comeback attempt, scoring two runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, and had the tying run at the plate with one out in the top of the ninth, but Paxton Wallace, Sigrist and Ingram turned a 5-4-3 double-play, securing the victory for the Shockers.
Josh Moylan went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, while Zach Agnos also homered and drove in three runs, leading the Pirates offensively.
ECU starter Carter Spivey (1-1) suffered the loss after giving up five earned runs on three hits with two walks and zero strikeouts in a third of an inning.
Wichita State is scheduled to continue American Athletic Conference play with a four-game series at UCF May 7-9 in Orlando, Fla.
(Wichita State Athletics contributed information to this article.)