Category Archives: Baseball

Weekend review: Wichita State at Evansville

Scores: Evansville 5, WSU 1; Evansville 13, WSU 2; WSU 13, Evansville 3

Key stats: The Shockers hit .245 in three games after hitting .191 while being swept at Indiana State. 1B  Casey Gillaspie continued his superb season by going 4 for 10 with three walks and driving in two runs. The rest of the lineup gave him some help on Sunday, which is why WSU avoided the sweep. C Tyler Baker went 5 for 10 with a double in the series and SS Tanner Kirk went 3 for 8 with Sunday’s big hit, a bases-clearing double. WSU’s starting pitching, which had been excellent on the weekend, faltered with A.J. Ladwig and Cale Elam giving the Aces early leads on Friday and Saturday. Nine leadoff batters reached base against Ladwig and Elam and six scored. As a staff, WSU walked 10 and struck out 11.

Records: WSU 17-18, 3-6 MVC; UE 22-12, 4-2

  • Nine straight road games. Two 10-hour bus trips.  All in 13 days. The Shockers were 16-10 on March 30 after taking two of three from Cal State Fullerton. Now they are 17-18. While nobody wants to make excuses for road losses, it’s clear the tour of Oklahoma, Kansas and Indiana didn’t do the Shockers any favors. The injuries that started to pile up just before the road trip added to the difficulty. “It’s been draining,” coach Todd Butler said. “We haven’t been playing clean baseball. Now we can go home and work. We haven’t had practice during this period. Now we can get back home.” Weather didn’t help WSU. Last week’s game at Oral Roberts was originally scheduled for March 26. The schools rescheduled it for April 9, making that a two-game mid-week schedule. The Shockers went to Tulsa and then drove to Evansville, extending the stay away from home. “Everybody is kind of tired,” pitcher Sam Tewes said. “Everybody is groggy, sometimes, getting off the buses. But when you get to the park, it’s game time.”
  • Wichita State’s RPI plummeted from a high of No. 38 to No. 82 thanks to the eight-game losing streak. It’s a shame the Shockers are missing out on what continues to be a high-level season by the MVC (although a top-100 RPI remains helpful to others). Dallas Baptist, Indiana State and Illinois State are all in the top 40 and Baseball America projected all three as NCAA regional teams on April 10. As of Monday, the MVC ranked fifth in the RPI according to warrennolan.com.
  • Kris Gardner will start for WSU on Tuesday against Oral Roberts at Eck Stadium. The Shockers play Southern Illinois this weekend. The Salukis beat Indiana State 2-1 in 13 innings on Friday and then lost 5-4 games the next two days. SIU Friday starter Sam Coonrod struck out nine and didn’t allow a run in eight innings. The Salukis won that game despite getting no-hit for nine innings by David Stagg.

Next up: vs. Oral Roberts, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Weekend review: Wichita State at Indiana State

Scores: Indiana State 3, WSU 0; Indiana State 3, WSU 2; Indiana State 5, WSU 4

Key stats: The Shockers hit .191 in the series with four extra-base hits. 1B Casey Gillaspie homered three times and OF Daniel Kihle, who started one game, doubled. 3B Chase Simpson was the only other hitter to contribute much, with five walks and two hits. His on-base percentage of .538 matched Gillaspie’s. WSU starters A.J. Ladwig and Cale Elam pitched well and freshman Sam Tewes did enough on a Sunday to make it competitive. The Shockers committed one error, although it was a costly one.

Records: WSU 16-14, 2-4 MVC; SIU 21-7, 5-4 Read More »

Shocker baseball changes times

Wichita State looked into moving its games with Long Beach State to warmer weather in Texas before deciding to play at Eck Stadium.

The series now starts at 1 p.m. Friday with a doubleheader. Saturday’s time is TBA. No game Sunday.

Time changes for Shocker baseball

Weather is changing the schedule for WSU’s games in South Carolina. Updates:

  • Wichita State plays UConn at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
  • WSU-George Mason, 10 a.m. Saturday
  • WSU-Coastal Carolina, 1 p.m. Sunday
  • Monday’s game vs. Coastal (3 p.m.) is unchanged from the original schedule.

Shocker baseball says play (snow) ball

Wichita State practiced outside on Thursday afternoon, thanks to a crew that cleared most of the four inches of snow off the Eck Stadium turf. Coaches Todd Butler, Brian Walker and Jon Coyne and director of operations Scott Gurss did the detail work on the infield with snow shovels.

First pitch is at 3 p.m. Friday, as scheduled.

WSU is still waiting on word from the NCAA regarding the Under Armour investigation.

Around the Valley

Shocker snowplow needed at Eck Stadium

A few baseball updates two days before Wichita State’s opener against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville:

  • Will there be an opener on Friday? Coach Todd Butler is cautiously optimistic. A crew is clearing snow off the field this afternoon and warming temps (45 by Thursday!) may make it possible. If the teams don’t play Friday, Butler would like to play two on Saturday.
  • Butler waits, not altogether patiently, on a ruling from the NCAA regarding the Under Armour investigation. “We still do not have an answer from the NCAA,” Butler said. “It’s kind of been a little stressful just figuring out who is going to be able to play.” While Butler declined to reveal players he expects to be suspended, he did say the pitching staff will be most affected. As many as 11 Shockers could sit out six, 12 or 18 games for their role in ordering non-baseball gear at a 50-percent discount through Under Armour. That may require juggling of roles early in the season. “Position players, you can kind of adjust,” Butler said. “We may have a starter who’s forced to relieve, or vice versa.” Butler has lineups prepared to account for possible suspensions. Should WSU not hear from the NCAA, he is prepared to sit players and count on the NCAA honoring those games as time-served. WSU has asked for leniency on the suspensions, reducing them to three, six and nine games, because it self-reported the violations.
  • WSU will throw Cale Elam in the opener, followed by A.J. Ladwig and Garrett Brummett.
  • The top of the batting order is set with Tanner Dearman leading off and serving as the DH. Butler is impressed with his ability to get on base and run and likes the idea of him getting on in front of first baseman Casey Gillaspie in the three-hole and third baseman Chase Simpson. Same with right fielder Garrett Bayliff, who will bat second.

Crowder pitcher commits to Wichita State

Crowder (Mo.) College sophomore pitcher Sam Hilliard gave Wichita State an oral commitment on Monday, according to his Twitter feed.

Hilliard (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) pitched for the Nevada Griffons last summer, making eight starts and going 5-1 with a 4.26 ERA.

From the class of 2014, WSU also has non-binding commitments from Coffeyville Community College third baseman Chase Rader, Avon (Ind.) pitcher Chandler Sanburn, Taylor Goshen, a pitcher from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll, Bishop Carroll catcher Taylor Sanagorski, Rockhurst (Mo.) shortstop Trey Vickers, Manhattan outfielder Bret Fehr, Shawnee Mission East utility player Gunnar Troutwine, pitcher Matt Whalen, from Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, Colo., Andale-Garden Plain pitcher Tyler Jones, Owasso (Okla.) left-handed pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt and Edmond (Okla.) Deer Creek shortstop Jordan Boyer. WSU also has commitments from Olathe East shortstop Adam Thies and Lee’s Summit (Mo.) North outfielder Josh DeBacker to walk on and receive academic scholarships.

2015 two-way player commits to Wichita State

Greyson Jenista, a junior at De Soto High, gave Wichita State an oral commitment on Sunday.  Jenista (6-foot-4, 200 pounds)  wants to continue pitching and hitting in college.

“Whatever keeps me on the field,” he said. “If Coach (Todd) Butler sees me as a two-way player, I’ll do it.”

Jenista said he also considered Memphis and Baylor. He is right-handed pitcher who hits left-handed.

“I’m really close with (my family) and I wanted to be able to have them come down every once in awhile,” he said. “(Coach) really believes in his program and so do I. He wants to develop every single aspect of a player, both on the field and off.”

Jenista cannot sign a letter of intent until November 2014.

Another 2015 commitment for Wichita State

I missed this by two months. Back in August, Savannah (Mo.) pitcher Clayton McGinness gave Wichita State’s baseball team an oral commitment.

“I wanted to be comfortable with the coaching staff and feel comfortable on campus,” he said. “It’s a great fit.”

McGinness said he throws his fastball up to 89 mph and supplements it with a slider, curve and change-up.

McGinness joins Heights pitcher Keylan Killgore and Clay Richards, a third baseman from Cashion, Okla., as known commitments from the class of 2105. Juniors cannot sign until November 2014.

Wichita State baseball fall series

Wichita State baseball fans can get a look at the Shockers under new coach Todd Butler beginning Oct.17 in the five-game Shocker World Series scrimmages. The dates:

Oct. 17 – 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 – 1:45 p.m.

Oct. 20 – 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 – 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 – 6:30 p.m.

Admission is a can of food for the Kansas Food Bank.