Shockers earn doubleheader split against No. 8 East Carolina

Freshman+Jace+Kaminska+throws+a+pitch+during+WSU%27s+game+against+East+Carolina+on+April+30+inside+Eck+Stadium.

Sean Marty

Freshman Jace Kaminska throws a pitch during WSU’s game against East Carolina on April 30 inside Eck Stadium.

The Wichita State baseball team opened up its series against No. 8 East Carolina with a doubleheader on Friday at Eck Stadium. Both teams earned a win in Friday’s games to start the series. 

The Shockers were shutout in the first game of the series when the Pirates collected a 10-0 victory in seven innings. The Pirates opened up the game with at least one run in each of the first four innings, opening up an 8-0 lead. ECU launched three home runs in the victory, including a two-run homer from Zach Agnos. 

Senior Preston Snavely struggled on the mound for WSU and gave up six earned runs in three innings pitched. Snavely suffered his fifth loss on the season, as his ERA increased to 4.41 with the rough outing. 

The second game was a different story for WSU. The Shockers run-ruled the Pirates 12-2 in seven innings. Hunter Gibson, Corrigan Bartlett and Chuck Ingram all homered in the victory, with Gibson driving in a team-high four runs. Ross Cadena added in a game-high three hits and the walk-off sacrifice fly to clinch the victory. 

Freshman Jace Kaminska continued his hot start for WSU and delivered a complete game against the Pirates. Kaminska pitched seven innings while giving two earned runs and five hits while tallying five strikeouts. 

Head Coach Eric Wedge said that Kaminska was key for the Shockers to turn the momentum and pick up a split on Friday night. 

“Kaminska set the tone for us and that’s what you always like to see, your starting pitcher set the tone for you,” Wedge said. “He did a nice job of controlling the ballgame early on and even deeper into the ballgame. A couple big home runs for us today, that put us on the board and then we were able to put a big inning together. It was nice for the guys to come back like they did after the tough first game.”

Kaminska’s two runs came in the fourth inning as Bryson Worrell and Ben Newton each collected RBIs to tie the game at two. Kaminska responded and closed the game out three scoreless frames. 

Kaminska said that he could tell his fastball was better than usual just based on playing catch in warmups.

“My fastball was good early, I knew that playing catch, it was better than usual. My stuff was okay and then I didn’t have any offspeed in the middle when I gave up the runs but then I got it back and started to throw offspeed to finish off the last two innings.”

The Shockers closed out the game with 10 runs happening in the final two innings. Gibson’s third home run of the year helped regain WSU’s lead at 4-2. In the bottom of the seventh, WSU tallied eight more runs on eight hits to finish the game. 

“Well obviously East Carolina’s a good ball club and we saw that early on and we’re going to have to play good baseball to beat them,” Wedge said. “Anytime you play in a doubleheader, you don’t want to get swept but it was big for us to come back and win that second game today.”

Hunter Gibson said it was key for the Shockers to regroup after game one and come in with a different mindset for game two. 

“I feel as the team came back in the locker room, we had a good talk with coach and we all gathered our thoughts and we went out there with a different mindset,” Gibson said. “Jace gave us a great start, the bats were hot the second game, people were competing at the plate. So, all in all, it was good to see the guys group back together and win that game.”

The Shockers will be back in action against ECU on Saturday for game three of the series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. inside Eck Stadium.