Baseball sweeps Utah Valley, starts season 3-0
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Wichita State baseball came from behind to beat Utah Valley on Sunday, beating the Wolverines 6-5 to sweep the season-opening series.
Sophomore Luke Ritter provided what proved to be the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning after WSU faced an early 3-0 deficit.
“The win is real big,” Ritter said. “ A sweep is what we wanted and it’s given us a lot of confidence.”
After falling behind first in the previous two games, the Wolverines put themselves ahead early in the first inning when sophomore starter Connor Lungwitz gave up an RBI double to Jackson Overlund. Callahan Moltzan pitched in a run on a fielder’s choice to put Utah Valley up 2-0.
Lungwitz was roughed up again in the second inning when Trevor Howell knocked in the Wolverines’ third run before sophomore pitcher Clayton McGinness came in with two outs in relief of Lungwitz, needing only two pitches to get the Shockers out of the inning down 3-0.
“Connor struggled a bit in the first inning, and we fell behind, but our offense did a good job at coming back,” head coach Todd Butler said.
Ritter crushed a 1-0 pitch over 21st street in left field to put the Shockers on the board in the second inning, cutting Utah Valley’s lead down to two.
Utah Valley threatened to score again, but junior catcher Gunnar Troutwine threw out two would-be base stealers to prevent the Wolverines furthering their lead.
Once again, the Shockers cut into the deficit with a solo home run, this time by sophomore Greyson Jenista.
Utah Valley extended their lead in the fourth and fifth innings, courtesy of Overlund and Jake Berry.
WSU answered the Wolverines with a three-run, bottom of the fifth that saw Jenista and sophomore Alec Bohm drive in runs, tying the game at five.
A leadoff double by Jake Atkinson in the sixth inning got things started for the Wolverines. Utah Valley would not score, however, as junior Adam Keller, with the help of a pivotal double play, escaped the inning.
WSU took the lead in the seventh inning when Ritter singled to left field to score Bohm, who doubled to lead off the inning.
“I think it was a slider, but it was the first pitch of the at-bat and I just kind of swung at it and hit it into left field,” Ritter said.
Offensively for WSU, Bohm and Ritter went 2-4 with two runs batted in each. Jenista went 3-5 with 2 runs batted in.
The Shockers’ next game is Friday when they take on Grand Canyon University at Eck Stadium.
The first pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.