Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Baseball comes up short vs. Kansas State due to sixth-inning errors

Tuesday night’s Eck Stadium crowd was evenly divided between Wichita State black and gold and Kansas State University purple. While the Shocker fans were the loudest throughout the game, the Wildcats had the final roar, winning 8-6.

Wichita State dropped to 13-7 on the year. Kansas State improved to 14-6, extending its winning streak to six games.

Freshman left handed pitcher Tyler Dobbs earned his third start on the mound. With his three-fourths arm slot throwing motion that looks as if it’s pushing the ball to the plate, Dobbs sent the Wildcats down 1-2-3 in the first.

In the Shockers’ opening inning, senior Dayvin Johnson and redshirt junior Jordan Rogers smacked consecutive doubles to score a run, and a wild pitch from Kansas State sophomore righty Andrew Evans plated Rogers for an early 2-0 Wichita State lead.

At the bottom of the second, Wichita State stranded runners on second and third on a groundout from freshman Camden Johnson. The Shockers wouldn’t miss the same opportunity in the third, as Dayvin Johnson and Rogers both reached base before an out was made. Junior Derek Williams doubled off the wall in left-center, driving both runners in to make the score 4-0.

The Wildcats scored their first run in the fourth on a double and two-out Texas league single into center. Wichita State maintained its lead into the top of the sixth, which was a masterclass in manufacturing runs from Kansas State.

The sixth began with a bloop single that dropped just in front of second-baseman Rogers. Dobbs gave up another single and coerced a strikeout before an RBI double down the left-field line drove him out of the game.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Caleb Anderson came in and hit a batter on his second pitch to load the bases. The next batter rolled over a grounder, but the ball was placed so that freshman shortstop Darnell Parker Jr. didn’t have a play, scoring another run.

The Wildcats tied the game on a walk and took the lead on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Dayvin Johnson couldn’t track a lazy fly ball in center, allowing two more runs to make it 7-4.

Finally, after Anderson was swapped out for junior lefty Hunter Holmes, the third out was made on the hardest-hit ball of the inning, a line out to center.

Wichita State started off the bottom of the sixth with two hit-by-pitches, and senior Seth Stroh drove the runners home with a triple down the right field line. With one out, Stroh was stranded on third after two groundouts, keeping Kansas State ahead, 7-6.

Senior right-handed pitcher Matt Wilkinson was brought in to start the seventh. After a leadoff double, Dayvin Johnson preserved the one-run deficit with a diving catch in center. He said that bouncing back on the field after the sixth-inning miscue was all part of the mental game.

“You could argue that (it) cost us the game, and that hurt me, so I knew I had to come back and do something,” Johnson said. “I just saw an opportunity to get us back in the game.”

The Shockers were forced to make consecutive pitching changes in the eighth. Freshman left-hander Drew Iverson began the inning on the mound but was pulled after two pitches with an arm injury. In came senior righty Nate Adler, who escaped the inning with only one hit allowed.

Kansas State expanded its lead to two in the ninth, plating a run aided by a fielding error from Rogers.

In the bottom of the ninth, Wichita State received a lifeline when Wildcat senior third baseman Danniel Rivera airmailed the throw to first on a soft Stroh grounder. However, Kansas State snuck away with the win as the Shockers went down without a hit after that, ending with a Dayvin Johnson strikeout.

Anderson was tagged with the loss, giving up three earned runs and securing only one out. Dayvin Johnson and Rogers were the standout performers offensively. Johnson had three hits, and Rogers secured two doubles.

Johnson said the team is struggling with “simple mistakes” and little errors.

“We have a lot of confidence in our dugout,” Johnson said. “And I see a lot of other teams don’t have that, especially when they’re losing. They kind of die off, but our guys just keep going.”

Rogers said that despite the loss, competitive games show Wichita State can compete with the best of the best.

“We have a pretty good approach at the plate,” Rogers said. “We throw a lot of strikes. We’re a really good team, if we’re going to be a great team, we’ve got to make some better plays on defense.”

Wichita State will enter conference play this weekend when it takes on the University of Alabama at Birmingham on the road. The three-game series is scheduled to begin on Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Photographer
Bryan Chavez is a first-year photographer for The Sunflower. He is a freshman at Wichita State, majoring in Journalism and Media Production. Chavez is from Dallas, Texas, and wants to pursue a career as a professional sports photographer. Chavez's pronouns are he/him.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *