WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State baseball increased its winning streak to five games with a doubleheader sweep of the Houston Cougars in the opening games of a four-game American Athletic Conference series Friday, April 9, at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field, winning game one, 10-2, before claiming the nightcap, 7-1.
Wichita State (17-9, 5-1 American) and Houston (13-16, 1-5 American) are scheduled to play game three of the series Saturday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at Riverfront Stadium in downtown Wichita. It will be the inaugural game at the new stadium, which is home to the Wichita Wind Surge minor league baseball team.
In the 10-2 triumph in game one, senior right-handed starting pitcher Preston Snavely shined on the mound, tossing seven innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts, earning the win to move to 3-1 on the season.
Garrett Kocis went 3-for-5 with a double and drove in three runs, while freshman Seth Stroh homered and had three RBI, leading the Shockers at the plate in game one.
WSU used a six-run fifth inning to break a scoreless stalemate and jump out to a 6-0 lead in the opener.
Andrew Stewart dropped a bunt down and drove in Stroh for the opening run of the inning before Hunter Gibson drove in Stewart on a single to right field and Paxton Wallace belted a double to left-center, plating Jack Sigrist for the third run of the frame.
Kocis kept the scoring going with a two-run single to left that drove in Wallace and Gibson prior to Stroh bringing in Kocis on an RBI ground-out for the sixth run of the inning.
Houston answered with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to cut the Wichita State lead to 6-2, but WSU responded immediately, scoring a run in the bottom-half of the inning on a Wallace sacrifice fly, and plating two more in the seventh after Stroh lifted a 1-1 pitch high over the right field wall for a two-run homer – the first of his collegiate career – ballooning the Shocker advantage to 9-2.
Wichita State tallied one more run in the game when Kocis doubled to right to score Sigrist in the eighth inning.
Junior right-handed starter Liam Eddy posted a career-outing on the mound to help Wichita State to the 7-1 victory in the nightcap.
Eddy, who hails from Brighton, Colo., matched his career-high with eight innings pitched and allowed just one earned run on two hits with a career-best 11 strikeouts and only three walks on 111 pitches, earning the win to move to 3-4 in 2021.
Couper Cornblum and Sigrist both had four hits in the second game, including doubles, with Sigrist tallying a triple, to pace the Shockers offensively.
After the Cougars took a 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the first, Wichita State answered, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 advantage after Sigrist belted a leadoff triple to right and scored on Ross Cadena’s infield single to shortstop and Kocis drove in Cadena with a single to centerfield.
WSU made it 3-1 with a run in the second when Sigrist doubled down the right field line, allowing Hunter Gibson to cross home plate.
Eddy stifled the Cougars the remaining six innings, retiring the final 16 batters he faced before being relieved by Ryan Stuempfig in the top of the ninth.
The Shocker bats kept rolling, though, and increased the lead to 4-1 with a run in the fifth on a Gibson double to right that plated David VanVooren, and two more in the sixth after Gibson worked a bases loaded walk allowing Wallace to score and Cornblum dropped an RBI bunt single down, bringing in Corrigan Bartlett, ballooning the advantage to 6-1.
Kocis scored Sigrist on an RBI single up the middle in the seventh for the final run of the game, securing the doubleheader sweep.