Baseball drops fall-opener to Cowley College, 15-11


Jordan Plowman / The Sunflower

Junior Andrew Stewart throws the ball towards first base during WSU’s game against on Sept. 13 at Eck Stadium.

The Wichita State baseball program opened up its fall season with a loss to Cowley College, a local junior college program, 15-11 in 16 innings on Monday. 

Cowley College took an early 5-1 lead, using three hits in the fourth inning to plate four runs, taking an early 5-1 lead. The Shockers would respond with two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to tie the game at five. The Tigers then retook the lead in the eighth, but WSU once again tied the game with an RBI single by senior Garrett Kocis in the bottom of the eighth.

The Shockers took their only lead of the game in the bottom of the ninth after freshman Payton Tolle delivered an RBI single to give WSU a 7-6 advantage. Cowley would then score seven unanswered runs to take a 13-7 lead heading into the bottom of the 13th. WSU got one run back in the bottom of the 13th on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 13-8.

Cowley added two more in the 14th before the Shockers used RBI singles from Jordan Rogers and Brock Rodden and a bases loaded walk from Tolle to cut the deficit to 15-11. 

“This is a great situation for our guys,” Assistant Coach Mike Sirianni said. “First time playing, a long day, and playing a different team and putting people in different spots and giving people an opportunity to succeed, giving people an opportunity to fail.”

“We learned a lot about our guys and for us it’s about the big picture and we’re a huge development program. We’ve got so much ammo to give our guys so we can continue to develop.”

WSU used this exhibition as a way to give some of its newcomers to the program an opportunity to see some in-game action. The Shockers only used one pitcher who played last year for WSU, Ryan Steumpfig, while many newcomers got a chance in the lineup as well.

“The fall is huge,” Sirianni said. “You try and challenge people and try to put people in different spots and see how they handle it and see how they can handle the success as well as the failures. This game is so hard that you just have to show up and play every day so giving guys those opportunities it’s great to see good and bad.”

The loss came against one of the top junior college programs in the country, with Cowley advancing to the JUCO World Series with a 47-10 record last spring. 

Sirianni said that it was great for WSU to play another opponent in the fall, especially after only having scrimmages a year ago.

“We can go inter-squad and we can play games but there’s nothing like playing another team in another dugout with another jersey,”  They’re obviously always a good club and that’s why we wanted to bring those guys up here because they’re fun to play because they’re good.”

The Shockers recently announced that they will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the University of Nebraska on Oct. 2 to wrap up their outside competition in the fall. 

Sirianni said this game will be important for the freshmen to have the experience of playing on the road.

“That’ll be a different aspect for us because we’ll be going on the road so we’ll be travelling and doing all that stuff,” Sirianni said. “For the new guys, that’ll be interesting, that’ll be their first time going on the road and getting on a bus. That whole experience for all our kids will be an eye-opening experience but it’ll be good because they went to a Regional last year and they’re obviously a good club too.”