Shockers rack up the runs in two game sweep of SFA

Wichita State baseball came off a struggled weekend, dropping two consecutive games and eventually the series against Cal Poly. Continuing their homestead, the Shockers took on the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Eck Stadium for a two game set Tuesday and Wednesday.

Runs were the theme for a Shockers team who had been struggling to gather extra base hits and find timely hitting. The bats woke up as the Shockers defeated SFA 10-2 on Tuesday.

Connor Lungwitz shined for Todd Butler’s team Tuesday, throwing six innings with no earned runs. He fanned 10 Lumberjacks on just 78 pitches en route to the victory. Lumberjack batters failed to get much hitting going against the Shockers in the series.

Improved pitching has to be a morale builder after this series win for the Shockers. After Willie Schwanke, Shockers starters have struggled to win games and keep runners off base. Lungwitz grabbed the bull by the horns and helped this team build some momentum.

Wichita State notched a 3.00 ERA throughout the series, which was much improved from recent weeks. The Shockers hit the double-digit run mark in both games of the series. It’s tough to lose when a team is scoring runs like that.

Rightfielder Greyson Jenista led the charge Tuesday going 2-4 with three RBIs off a three-run homer in the eighth inning, capping the Shockers win. Shortstop Tanner Kirk added two RBIs and a home run of his own.

Due to weather forecasts, Wednesday’s game was pushed forward to noon, instead of 3 p.m., making it a quick turnaround for both squads. Clayton McGinness took the hill for the Shockers against SFA’s Cody Adams.

This contest was over quickly as WSU took a commanding 7-0 lead in the first inning. Almost the whole lineup joined in on the hit parade. Tanner Kirk homered in his second straight game. Kirk, Jenista and leadoff hitter Mike Mucha racked up five hits together and a combined four RBIs.

By the end of the third inning the Shockers led 10-0, securing the victory early. McGinness only went four innings, allowing three earned runs. All the run support gave the Shocker pitching staff confidence to play a little bit looser against Stephen F. Austin.

Butler gave Justin Seiwald the mound in the fifth inning, earning the win for the Shockers. Wichita State went on to defeat SFA 12-4, completing the two-game sweep of the Lumberjacks.

Shocker relievers allowed just one run in five runnings of work Wednesday. Twenty-two total runs, a much-improved team earned run average, and continued contributions from Tanner Kirk and Greyson Jenista were huge for the Shockers.

Wichita State now stands at 9-16 and faces a tall task against Texas Christian University in the three-game series this weekend at Eck stadium. The matchup will be headlined Saturday afternoon as the Shockers take on the Horned Frogs at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.