WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita State University baseball team secured a series win and built its winning streak to 11 games with a 5-3 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Saturday, March 7, at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field.
Wichita State (12-2), which continued its longest winning streak since winning 19 in-a-row in 2008 with the triumph Saturday, will face Louisiana Tech (10-5) in the series finale at noon Sunday, March 8.
Shocker fans that have a ticket to the final WSU men's basketball home game of the regular season Sunday at 3 p.m. vs. Tulsa at Charles Koch Arena will receive free entry to the baseball game by showing their basketball ticket at the Eck Stadium ticket office.
Junior outfielder Hunter Gibson hit his first home run of the season and drove in a pair of runs, while senior Alex Jackson and freshman Blake Marsh both compiled doubles, leading Wichita State at the plate.
WSU reliever Aaron Bechtel (2-0) earned the victory on the mound after surrendering no earned runs on no hits with two strikeouts and a walk in two innings, while closer Foster Gifford picked up his fourth save of 2020 after tossing a scoreless ninth inning with a strikeout.
The Shockers and Bulldogs were scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Gibson crushed a 2-1 pitch into the right-center parking lot for a two-run homer, scoring Couper Cornblum, who worked a one-out walk, putting WSU in front, 2-0.
Tech answered, though, and took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth on a three-run home run off the bat of Parker Bates.
Wichita State battled back and regained the lead, 4-3, with two in the seventh. Jackson lifted a lead-off double to left field, before scoring on failed pickoff attempt by Louisiana Tech pitcher Casey Ouelette, tying the game. Cade Clemons, who reached via a walk and advanced all the way to third on the error by Ouelette, tagged up and crossed the plate as the go-ahead run on Jack Sigrist's sacrifice fly to center.
The Bulldogs attempted to rally in the eighth after Hunter Wells reached on a lead-off walk, but Clemons, Marsh and Bechtel turned a 3-6-1 double play to get out the inning with the lead intact.
The Shockers added an insurance run in the bottom-half of the frame, extending their advantage to 5-3 when Cornblum bolted home on Jackson's sacrifice fly to center.
Louisiana Tech tried one more time to rally in the top of the ninth and had runners on first and third with two outs, but Cornblum corralled a fly-ball deep in left field, locking down the victory.
Bates went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, pacing Tech.
Louisiana Tech reliever Kyle Griffen (1-1) took the loss after allowing two unearned runs on one hit with a strikeout and walk in a third of an inning.