Stewart’s improved bat provides depth to the Shocker lineup


Sean Marty / The Sunflower

Andrew Stewart celebrates with assistant coach Mike Sirianni after his first career home run during WSU’s game against South Dakota State on March 13 inside Eck Stadium.

In Andrew Stewart’s first season with the Shocker baseball program he struggled to find a consistent approach at the plate. Stewart hit .201 at the plate in his first season after transferring from Barton Community College, but his defense kept him in the Shocker lineup. 

But Stewart’s offense has had a noticeable change in 2022. Stewart’s average is up to .278 and he also saw his on-base percentage increase by 78 points this year. On top of reaching base more frequently, Stewart has provided more power to the Shocker offense, with his slugging percentage up to .389, including launching his first career home run.

“He’s been swinging the bat well lately,” Head Coach Eric Wedge said. “When you talk about Andrew, you talk about a guy that you want to hit the ball in front of the outfielders. The last couple days, he’s been hitting the ball behind them. That says a lot.”

Stewart had a successful fall season, which has now translated into him becoming a regular in the Shocker lineup. The junior shortstop has focused on making contact more consistently with a new approach, which has paid dividends so far. Stewart has only struck out seven times in 13 games, down from 29 last season.

Andrew stewart smiles while heading to the dugout during WSU’s game against South Dakota State on March 13 inside Eck Stadium. (Sean Marty / The Sunflower)

“Stay short, get my foot down and that’s basically all I’ve wanted to do is to get my foot down and get on time for the fastball,” Stewart said.

After an 0-6 start to the season, the Shockers have turned their season around, partly due to Stewart becoming a regular in the lineup. Stewart has played in 13 of WSU’s 19 games and the Shockers have gone 8-5 in those games. The Shockers had similar success with Stewart in the lineup last season, going 28-22 in games he saw action in.

“We became closer as a team, shaking off some of those tough losses,” Stewart said. “It was just grinding through it. We knew we were going to come out of it at some point, so keep playing.”

Stewart and the Shockers will return to action on Wednesday as they take on Kansas at Eck Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.