Seven-run inning propels Shockers past Northern Colorado
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Fresh off of a series sweep at the hands of No. 7 LSU, the WSU baseball team defeated Northern Colorado 11-5 on Tuesday to remain undefeated at home.
As it turned out, the Shockers got all the scoring they needed to win in the seven-run second inning that saw twelve batters come to the plate.
With one out and a runner on first, junior Trey Vickers tripled to right field when Northern Colorado’s Jack Pauley stumbled while pursuing the ball. The first run of the game was followed by a barrage of Shocker offense including four RBI singles and highlighted by junior Greyson Jenista’s two-run triple to left field.
WSU continued to pile on the runs in the third inning on sophomore Luke Ritter’s double, freshman Alex Jackson’s triple, and sophomore Jordan Boyer’s sacrifice fly which stretched the lead to 9-0.
WSU ‘s starting pitcher, junior Chandler Sanburn threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win. Sanburn used a career high six strikeouts to capture his second victory of the season.
“It felt good knowing I had that lead going out there and I didn’t have to do too much—just let my defense work and let hitters get themselves out, Sanburn said.
Northern Colorado was held hitless until the fourth when Brett Minnick doubled to spur on a two-run inning. The Bears struck for another in the top of the sixth to bring the score to 9-3.
With two outs and a runner on third in the bottom of the WSU seventh, Ritter singled home sophomore Dayton Dugas to put the Shockers in double digits.
Ritter, who came into the game with just a .152 batting average, went three for four with two RBI and a run scored.
“Today was a good day to get on track,” Ritter said. “In baseball, there’s always the next day for you to move on and get better.”
Down by seven in the top of the eighth, Northern Colorado posed one final threat. Two base hits and three walks plated two runs and opened the door for the Bears to get back into the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded, sophomore Clayton McGinness came into to relieve senior Reagan Biechler. McGinness needed just three pitches to strike out Tyler Yamaguchi and silence the Bears for good.
A series of unenforced errors in the bottom of the ninth gave WSU one more run, bringing the final score to 11-5.
Junior Ben Hecht struck out two to lock down the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Head Coach, Todd Butler was glad to see his team rebound after the LSU series, and felt they had gained experience from the difficult road trip.
”I think we can grow from that weekend,” Butler said. “We didn’t win a game but we saw some really good baseball.”
WSU will go for the two-game sweep of Northern Colorado tomorrow at 3:00 at Eck Stadium before hitting the road for a three-game series with Cal Poly over the weekend.