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Barnhouse guides Shockers to win over Valparaiso

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Freshman Tommy Barnhouse winds up a pitch during the game against Valparaiso Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Tommy Barnhouse winds up a pitch during the game against Valparaiso Saturday afternoon.

Selena Favela

Selena Favela

Freshman Tommy Barnhouse winds up a pitch during the game against Valparaiso Saturday afternoon.

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Wichita State was aided by a string of one-run innings, good defense, and strong outings en route to a 3-2 victory over Valparaiso Saturday afternoon.

The hard-fought victory pushed the Shockers’ record back to an even .500.

Freshman starting pitcher Tommy Barnhouse, junior Adam Keller, sophomore Clayton McGinness, and junior Ben Hecht combined to stifle the Crusaders’ bats.

“Barnhouse pitched good today and kept us in the game,” head coach Todd Butler said.

Butler also praised the effort shown by the relief pitchers.

“They did a good job. Keller was good, McGinness was good, and Hecht did a good job to close it out,” Butler said.

WSU scored the first of their three runs of the afternoon in the second inning when junior Trey Vickers grounded into a fielder’s choice double play that scored sophomore Alec Bohm.

Sophomore Jordan Boyer led off the third inning with a single and was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Jacob Katzfey, who is hitting .333 so far this year. Sophomore Travis Young then lined a single to center field that was misplayed by James Stea, allowing Boyer to score.

Boyer, despite only hitting .263 so far this season, has swung the bat well at home this year, where he is hitting near .400.

“I feel real comfortable here,” Boyer said. “I don’t know if it’s going to the indoor facility before games or taking batting practice out on the field, but I’m comfortable.”

Freshman Alex Jackson began the fourth inning with a single, and Vickers followed suit with a single of his own on a well-executed hit-and-run play to put runners on the corner with no outs. Noah Croft drove in Jackson later in the inning, extending WSU’s lead to three.

Valparaiso would strike back, however, with two runs in their half of the fifth inning. The Crusaders capitalized on the Shockers’ only error of the evening, a throwing error by Boyer.

Despite the error, Butler thought his team performed very well on the field.

“We played very good defense today. They had a leadoff triple and didn’t score, and there was a bunt play with runners on first and second where we got the lead guy at third,” Butler said.

Barnhouse, who picked up his second win of the season, exited the game after the fifth inning. He allowed only the two unearned runs on five hits along with five strikeouts.

“I love my defense, and I feel very confident with those guys behind me,” Barnhouse said.

Keller took over for two innings, allowing only one hit. McGinness took over in the eighth and sent the Crusaders down in order.

Hecht, seeking redemption after allowing two runs in his previous outing, got the job done in the ninth and earned the save, his fifth of the season.

WSU and Valparaiso meet again Sunday afternoon for the series finale. The rubber match is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.

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