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WSU’s late-inning surge seals series win over Evansville

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Wichita State freshman Alex Jackson rounds third base before scoring against Evansville at Eck Stadium Friday evening.

Wichita State freshman Alex Jackson rounds third base before scoring against Evansville at Eck Stadium Friday evening.

Selena Favela

Selena Favela

Wichita State freshman Alex Jackson rounds third base before scoring against Evansville at Eck Stadium Friday evening.

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Coming off of an exhausting 17-inning loss Saturday at Eck Stadium, the Wichita State baseball team responded by defeating Evansville 8-4 in the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore third baseman Alec Bohm, who went 2-for-4 at the plate and led the team with three RBI, said the team’s energy was the key to bouncing back from the marathon loss.

“We knew we had to come back today with a lot of energy and come out with a win,” Bohm said.

The Shockers wasted no time jumping on the Purple Aces, going up 1-0 on a first inning RBI single up the middle by senior Willie Schwanke.  A base hit by sophomore Greyson Jenista in the bottom of the third stretched the lead to two.

Sophomore pitcher Robby Evans made the start, honoring his late mother on Mother’s Day with a special message written on his hat. Evans lasted four and a third innings in just his second start of the season.

After holding Evansville hitless through the first four innings, Evans surrendered a double to Craig Shepard to lead off the top of the fifth.  Consecutive singles plated Evansville’s first run of the game, and a second run scored after Evans had been relieved to knot the score up at two apiece.

Head Coach Todd Butler said he was pleased with the overall performance from his pitching staff.

“Yesterday we used a lot of pitchers,” Butler said. “We burnt (freshman Ben) Hecht and (junior Chandler) Sanburn and quite a few guys, so to see the other guys step up today was really good.”

Bohm put the Shockers back on top in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double, and another run in the bottom of the sixth stretched the lead to 4-2.

A wild pitch plated a run for Evansville in the eighth, giving the Shockers just a one-run lead going into the bottom of the inning when they put the game out of reach for good.

With two outs and a runner on second, an infield single by sophomore pinch-hitter Travis Young put the Shockers back on the scoreboard.  Young later came around to score on a single, beating a throw to the plate.

The inning was highlighted by Bohm’s two-run single to left, giving WSU an 8-3 lead.

Leadoff hitter Greyson Jenista, who reached base in four of his five plate appearances, said success at the top of the lineup should be expected.

“That’s our job—just get on base at the top of the order and let the guys hit us in,” Jenista said.

In the top of the ninth, Evansville had one last opportunity, plating a fourth run before the final out was recorded.

With the victory, WSU (25-26) moved to 21-7 at home on the season.

“A seventeen-inning game—that’s long – takes a toll on your body,” Jenista said. “But you’re supposed to win at home and we protect home.”

WSU will play one more game at Eck Stadium on Tuesday at 6:00 before hitting the road for their final MVC conference series against Indiana State.

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