Baseball returns to the field with Fall World Series


Kaylee Stout/ The Sunflower

Junior Liam Eddy pitches the ball while warming up during a scrimmage at Eck Stadium on Oct. 10.

The baseball program returned to Eck Stadium for the first time in a competitive fashion with the Fall World Series on Saturday.

WSU’s 2020 season was cut short but not before starting out the season with a 13-2 record including 13-game winning prior to the cancellation of spring sports due to COVID-19.  

On Saturday, the black team was able to pick up the victory 10-3 and head coach Eric Wedge was pleased with the performance in the first game of the five-game series. 

“It was a good day, guys have been working hard,” Wedge said. “I like the competition factor, these guys competing against one another.”

Given the circumstances, this will be the only competitive action for the program as typical fall scrimmages against other programs will not take place. Wedge said that he likes this event to finish off the fall season before the team rejoins later on. 

“I want it to be very competitive and I fully expect it will be. But also it’s a chance for these guys to be together for the last time in a while.”

In game one of the Fall World Series, Wedge said that he was pleased with the performance of starting pitchers Liam Eddy and Konnor Lewis as both combined to allow only one earned run amongst the two pitchers. 

 “I think when your starting pitching gives you the chance to win the ballgame, that’s all you can ask for,” Wedge said. “We had a couple of relievers get beat up a little bit but they’ll be back on there.”

Wedge said that being able to find new ways to evaluate his players this fall has been tougher but still feels confident in creating competitive opportunities for his team. 

“We try to create an atmosphere with that type of competitiveness, that type of nature. Obviously, it’s always better to play against a different uniform but we’ve been able to do our fair share of evaluating this fall.”

Coming into his second year at the helm, Wedge feels that he’s getting more comfortable with the program especially due to the premature ending from last season. 

“I would’ve liked to get into conference play last year but I haven’t even managed a conference game yet,” Wedge said. “We’re comfortable here at Wichita State, obviously with the players. We have people coming in every year so it’s always going to be an adjustment.”

In the scrimmage, freshmen Noah Griese and Cooper Harris were able to drive in two runs each for the black. Senior Corrigan Bartlett, who transferred from Saint Louis, was able to put the game out of reach late with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Wedge said that similar to last year, the energy has been very good while the newcomers have been able to fit into the group as well to this point. 

“There was a lot of energy and there’s a lot of energy this year,” Wedge said. “We’ve got more leadership this year, they’re holding each other accountable. Freshmen for the most part are doing a good job so it’s a lot of good things that have happened this last year.”

The Shockers will continue the Fall World Series this week with games two through four being closed to the public. Game five will be open to the first 2,000 fans on Oct. 17 with the first pitch at 1 p.m.