Shockers run rule top-seeded ECU in AAC tournament elimination game


Selena Favela

Wichita State Mason O'Brien watches the pitch from first base during the game against the Sooners.

The Shockers run-ruled top seed and No. 8 East Carolina, 12-5, in an elimination game of the AAC Tournament.

WSU has now defeated the nationally ranked ECU for the third time in two weeks. Before their win against the Pirates in the opening round, ECU had not lost multiple games to the same team in conference play.

The Shocker offense got off to a hot start that helped to stabilize an early lead. Redshirt senior Mason O’Brien hammered a grand slam in the second inning to give WSU a quick 5-0 lead. East Carolina responded with a solo home run in the top of the third courtesy of senior Turner Brown as they attempted to cut into the lead.

WSU proceeded to build on their lead with a six-run third inning. With runners on the corners, Brady Slavens came around to score after an error by the ECU shortstop. Another runner crossed the plate as Jack Sigrist came around to score following a David VanVooren double.

Then O’Brien delivered the big blow as he blasted his second home run of the game giving him a career day, increasing the lead to 11-1. With those two homers, he put his name in the AAC Tournament record book, tying two previous players with hitting two home runs along with his six RBIs. He also tied three other players for having three home runs within a single AAC tournament.

The Shockers tallied another run in the bottom of the fourth, as redshirt junior Jordan Boyer singled with the bases loaded. This gave Boyer his second RBI of the game while also increasing the Shocker lead to 12-1.

East Carolina showed some fight in the top of the seventh inning as they kept their season alive. Facing a run-rule, the Pirates added three runs including two RBI singles from Nick Barber and Chandler Jenkins making the score 12-4.

The Pirates added another run in the bottom of the eighth as an RBI single from sophomore Seth Caddell cut the Shockers lead to seven, but that would be all the offense could muster.

One of the aspects of this blowout win for the Shockers was the pitching performance of Liam Eddy. Eddy delivered 6 ⅓ innings while only giving up three runs and striking out seven. The bullpen was taxed yesterday after junior Tommy Barnhouse was only able to throw three innings due to back issues.

With the win, WSU will face UConn for the second time this tournament. The game is set for Saturday at 9 a.m. CT.