Shockers’ offense stays hot in 8-5 rout of K-State


Austin Shaw

Wichita State’s number 12 Ryan Stempfig strikes out Kansas State’s first two batters on March 27 at Eck Stadium (Austin Shaw/The Sunflower.)

Wichita State beat in-state rival Kansas State Wednesday night at Eck Stadium.

The Shockers won the first game of a home-and-away series with the Wildcats 8-5.

After a 12-run burst over Omaha the day before, Wichita State’s offense picked up where it left off. Luke Ritter put the Shockers on the board with an RBI double. On the next at-bat, Mason O’Brien blooped a double into right to send Ritter home to score the second run of the inning.

Ryan Stuempfig gave up one run in five innings of work.

K-State cut the deficit to one, and the Shockers responded right back in the bottom of the second as Garret Kocis hit a home run to opposite field to regain a two-run lead. Kocis has now homered in two straight games.

“I haven’t gotten many chances, so I’ve just been working while I waited to play,” Kocis said.

Wichita State extended its lead to four with some help from the Wildcat defense. After Hunter Gibson lead off the inning with a double a throwing error by the K-State second baseman caused Gibson come around to score. With the error, Luke Ritter advanced to second and later came around to score Paxton Wallace sacrifice fly.

K-State added a run in the top of the seventh as Thomas Hughes doubled on home Rainer Ausmus to make it a 7-2 ballgame. Then in the top of the eight the Shocker returned the favor on the defensive end as they committed two errors including a Jordan Boyer error which could have limited the damage. The Wildcats had three runs come across in the eighth innings as they made things interesting.

K-State offered Wichita State some breathing room. Ross Cadena reached on a walk to start the inning and then came all the way around to score after three wild pitches ensued.

Mitchell Walters pitched a scoreless ninth inning, for his fourth save of the season. Stuempfig got his first win of his collegiate career.

“It’s been a long road since I got hurt in high school,” Stuempfig said. “It’s good to be back.”

With the win, the Shockers improve to 13-12 on the season. Next up, the Shockers host Bethune-Cookman on a three-game weekend series.