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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Back-and-forth game against the University of Kansas ends with walk-off win for baseball

As the fireworks show began after the baseball game Wednesday night in Eck Stadium, Wichita State’s players were still celebrating a walk-off win over the University of Kansas, 7-6.

Wichita State improved to 19-10 this season, while the Jayhawks dropped to 15-11.

Kansas scored a run in the first inning and the Shockers failed to respond in the second when freshman Camden Johnson grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

With two outs at the top of the third, senior right fielder Seth Stroh appeared to save a run with a leaping catch at the warning track, but after review, the ball was trapped between the wall and his glove, allowing a runner to score from first and give the Jayhawks a 2-0 lead.

This time, Wichita State responded by manufacturing a run in the bottom of the third, although a Stroh strikeout with the bases loaded prevented any further damage.

The Shockers took the lead, 4-2, in the fifth despite not registering a single hard-hit ball. Senior Dayvin Johnson led off the inning with an infield single, while redshirt junior Jordan Rogers blooped a single into right and a misfired pickoff attempt by the pitcher allowed Johnson to score. After a walk and RBI groundout, Wichita State scored its final run of the inning on a slapped single to center by Stroh.

Head coach Brian Green said the team takes pride in being able to manufacture runs and stay in games when they’re not hitting well.

“We’re going to be in a lot of games like that,” Green said. “To win on a Friday night, you’re going to have to be able to get a bunt out.”

The Jayhawks came right back to tie the game in the sixth and took a two-run lead in the eighth as Wichita State made four pitching changes during the two-inning span.

Stroh woke up the Wichita State fans and dugout with a line drive that curled around the right-field foul pole to bring the Shockers within one run, 6-5.

With two outs, Camden Johnson tied the game with his first collegiate home run, sprinting around the bases and jumping up and down as he reached home. Johnson said he “blacked out” when he was running to home plate.

“I just love this game,” Johnson said. “I show a lot of passion … when I crossed home, those guys were screaming for me. It just shows we all have each other’s back, and we’re all rooting for each other.”

In the top of the ninth, senior Nate Adler struck out the side. In the bottom of the frame, the Shockers faced Kansas closer Hunter Cranton, who hadn’t allowed a run in 11 innings pitched this season. Rogers led off the team with a single, was moved over by a bunt and brought home to score the winning run with a line-drive single from junior Mauricio Millan.

Millan said as soon as the ball left the bat, he knew he had walked the game off.

“I had a feeling he was going to start off with the slider,” Millan said. “I got it up in the zone and just tried to put a short swing on it and drive it up the middle.”

Camden Johnson and Millan both ended the game with two hits, and Rogers was another standout offensively, going 3-for-4 with a walk.

Camden Johnson said the win gives the team confidence but not cockiness going forward into the season.

“We’re going to know we still have to work; we still have to put in all the hours outside of practice time and on our own and keep grinding,” Johnson said.

Wichita State baseball will travel to take on the University of South Florida in a three-game road series from Friday, April 5, to Sunday, April 7. First pitch is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m.

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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.

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