Shockers offense shines in second win over Utah Valley


Matt Crow

Wichita State Sophomore Travis Young (1) looks on after a hit against Utah Valley. (Feb. 18, 2017)

Wichita State throttled Utah Valley for their second win of the season Saturday afternoon. The Shockers exploded for 16 runs on only 14 hits, with much of the offense coming from the bottom of the order.

“I like the bottom of our order right now, they’re doing a really good job,” head coach Todd Butler said.

Following perfect first innings for both starters, WSU struck first in the second inning with six runs.

Trey Vickers began the Shockers’ two-out rally with a line shot back up the middle. Travis Young followed Vickers with something you wouldn’t expect with two-outs: a bunt.

“Yesterday I had the situation with two outs and runners on first and second,” Young said. “I wasn’t thinking about it, but he threw me the first pitch for a ball and their third baseman was playing back so I just laid it down. It wasn’t a perfect bunt but all you have to do is lay it down and leg it out.”

Young’s surprise bunt allowed Josh DeBacker to open the floodgates with a two-RBI single to right field to give WSU the early 2-0 lead.Greyson Jenista then walked to bring up Dayton Dugas, who subsequently cleared the bases with a double to deep left-center field.

Alec Bohm also joined the hit parade when he poked an RBI double to right field to up the Shockers’ lead to six. Vickers crushed his first home run of 2017 to lead off the third inning. A Young double and a Boyer RBI single later, the Shockers were up 8-0.

Zac Willis provided some offense for the Wolverines leading off the fourth inning when he knocked his first home run of the season over the left field wall. Later in the fourth, WSU responded with three runs of their own to further their lead, spearheaded by the lower half of the Shockers lineup.

“It’s a scary lineup,” Young said. “If you can get through the first three guys, congratulations, because they’re big dudes, but the bottom of the lineup isn’t going to take it easy.”

Utah Valley would tack on another run in the fifth when Trevor Peterson drove in Justin Erlandson with a sacrifice fly.

Again, WSU would respond with runs of their own.

Gunnar Troutwine, Sam Goodwin, Young, and Boyer all contributed to the five-run fifth inning—further extending WSU’s lead. Cody Tyler picked up his first win of the season. He went five innings, allowing two runs, one unearned, in the victory.

“Tyler was very good today, and the guys who came in after him kept pounding the zone,” Butler said. “Our pitching has been very good at keeping the ball down.”

The Shockers finish the series against Utah Valley tomorrow afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.