Late rally not enough to push Shockers past No. 3 Texas Tech


Selena Favela

Junior Trey Vickers tags the base to get a Texas Tech player out.

When Wichita State had runners on base early against No. 3 Texas Tech, the Shockers struggled to string together hits to drive in the runs.

Trailing 10-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Gunnar Troutwine’s 100th career hit and Jacob Katzfey’s first triple of the season started a late offensive spark that allowed WSU to score four runs heading into the final half inning of play.

Texas Tech’s work through nine innings, however, was too much for the Shockers to overcome.

The reigning Big 12 champions and 2016 College World Series participant came up with 14 hits to score 10 runs to defeat WSU 10-5 on Friday night at Eck Stadium.

“At the end, they kept trying to fight to put runs on the board and they did a pretty good job at the end,” head coach Todd Butler said. “When you’re playing a program like Texas Tech, you’ve got to be ready from the first pitch on. We kept trying to get back in the ball game, but we were too far behind.”

The third ranked Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, with Tanner Gardner hitting a single that drove in the game’s first run. Texas Tech’s Michael Berglund followed with a two-run single that put WSU in an early 3-0 hole.

Three consecutive hits in the top of the third forced pitching coach Mike Steele to take starter Chandler Sanburn out of the game. Berglund drove in one run with a sacrifice fly to left field, but Travis Young’s throw to third from left field resulted in a Red Raider runner being thrown out trying to take an extra base that gave the Shockers two outs.

A strikeout from junior Adam Keller ended the half inning with WSU only trailing 4-0.

Berglund extended the Texas Tech lead with an RBI single to right field, advancing to second base on the throw home. The Red Raiders scored in the next at-bat on a fielder’s choice RBI to shortstop that pushed them out to a 6-0 lead.

An error at second base by sophomore Luke Ritter allowed another Texas Tech run to score, with Grant Little hitting his first triple of the season in the next at-bat that scored two more Red Raider runs. A wild pitch on the mound by senior Willie Schwanke allowed the sixth Texas Tech run to score and had WSU trailing by 10 runs.

“We needed to make some plays for (Schwanke) and I was a little disappointed that we didn’t pick him up right there defensively,” Butler said. “Willie’s going to give you his all and we didn’t do a good job cutting the ball off in right field and some other situations.”

The Shockers strung together two singles that set up a sacrifice grounder from sophomore Jordan Boyer to shortstop, scoring WSU’s first run of the game. A diving effort from Texas Tech’s Hunter Hargrove at first base ended the Shockers’ chances of a scoring rally, throwing to pitcher Davis Martin for the fifth inning’s final out.

Texas Tech’s two, three and four hitters combined for six hits while WSU managed to only have one hit in those same slots.

“Our guys need to match them offensively,” Butler said. “Each player needs to play as well as (Texas Tech’s)  player at their position. Until we start doing that offensively, it’s going to be tough to score a lot runs. We need to score more runs, definitely, and have better at-bats.”

WSU (11-11) continues their home series with the Red Raiders on Saturday at Eck Stadium at 2 p.m.