Gibson’s walk-off homer lifts Shockers over Kansas


Joseph Barringhaus

The sun sets behind Eck Stadium on March 9, 2018 during the WSU versus UTA game.

Hunter Gibson hit a walk-off home run to lift Wichita State over the Kansas Jayhawks in 13 innings Wednesday night.

Wichita State won the game 3-2. It was the first of a home-and-home series the Shockers will have with the Jayhawks this season.

“I was really focused on getting up there and getting a base hit,” Gibson said. “I was thinking middle-in, something I could drive in the gap and get a double on. It ended up working out for me.”

Gibson finished the game with two hits on five at-bats. He had two runs scored.

After Ryan Stuempfig shut out Kansas in the top of the first, Wichita State quickly responded with a couple of runs of its own.

After Gibson reached base after being hit by a pitch, Luke Ritter hit a two-run home run out to right to give him his fourth home run on the season.

The Shockers relied on a pitching staff by a committee with Stuempfig only lasting three innings because of pitch count. Senior Clayton McGinness shortly followed with two scoreless innings including six strikeouts.

Connery Peters followed suit and produced four strikeouts through 1 ⅓ but ran into some trouble in his second inning of work.  He struck out the first two batters he faced but the second batter reached on a dropped third strike.

After back-to-back walks, Wichita State Coach Todd Butler pulled Peters and put in Alex Segal. Segal allowed a two-run single courtesy of Dylan Ditzenberger. With runners still on the corners, Segal sharpened up and got a strikeout and a fly out to center to escape out of the game.  

Freshman Aaron Haase helped to close the game out with three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and collecting four strikeouts.

“To see our pitching staff go out to pitch like they did tonight was very encouraging going into conference play,” Butler said. 

The Shockers will try to build off exciting win as they move into its conference opener against Memphis this weekend. With the win, the Shockers go to 9-11 on the season.