WICHITA, Kan. (WSU Athletics) – Derek Shaver hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Wichita State University baseball team to a 10-9, walk-off victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the series finale of a three-game series Sunday, March 8, at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field.
The Shockers (13-2) extended their winning streak to 12 games with the win and secured a series sweep of Louisiana Tech (10-6).
After the Bulldogs rallied all the way back from an eight-run deficit and gained a 9-8 lead with two runs in the top of the eighth, Wichita State mounted a last-minute comeback of its own in the ninth.
Hunter Gibson crossed home plate for the game-tying run on a Ross Cadena single to left field, before Cooper Elliot, who entered the game as a pinch-runner, advanced to third on a wild pitch, before sprinting home on Shaver’s fly-ball to left field for the game-winning run.
Cadena led the Shockers at the plate, going 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Blake Marsh added a pair of hits, and Shaver drove in a game-high four runs. Gibson added his second home run of the season, while David VanVooren posted a triple, and Jack Sigrist and Couper Cornblum both had doubles, respectively.
Wichita State sophomore reliever Connery Peters (1-0) earned the win on the mound after throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts and a walk.
WSU burst out of the gates early, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the second to race out to an 8-0 lead. It was the most runs in an inning since the Shockers plated eight against Southern Illinois in 2017. Gibson demolished a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for a lead-off homer – his second round-tripper in two games – before VanVooren belted a triple to left-center, prior to scoring on Garrett Kocis’ single up the middle, putting Wichita State in front, 2-0.
Shaver unloaded the bases with a single to left and an error by the Louisiana Tech left fielder, allowing Marsh, Cadena and Kocis to all score, ballooning the Wichita State lead to 5-0. Shaver crossed home plate on a Tech throwing error for the sixth run of the frame, prior to Cornblum smacking an RBI double to right field and scoring on another Bulldog error, giving the Shockers their eight-run advantage.
Louisiana Tech didn’t go away though, and began chipping away at the deficit with a run in the third, three in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the seventh.
It was 8-7 before Tech’s Taylor Young hit a two-run home run to left field in the top of the eighth, giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, 9-8.
Young went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI, leading Louisiana Tech.
Tech reliever Casey Ouelette (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing one earned run on one hit with one strikeout and two walks in a third of an inning.
Wichita State is scheduled to open a four-game series with Nebraska on Friday, March 13, at 3 p.m. at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field.
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