Shockers Take Two from Texas Southern, Complete Series Sweep

Published: Feb. 22, 2020 at 9:25 PM CST
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The Wichita State University baseball team completed a three-game, series sweep of the Texas Southern Tigers with a pair of victories in a doubleheader Saturday, Feb. 22, at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field. The Shockers won game one, 7-2, before rolling to a 9-1 triumph in the nightcap.

Wichita State (4-2) is scheduled to continue its homestand with a midweek game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m.

Junior Garrett Kocis and freshman Cade Clemons paced the Shockers at the plate on the day.

Kocis, who hails from Omaha, Neb., had a hit and pair of RBI in game one before putting on a hitting clinic in game two, going a career-best 3-for-4 with a double, triple, homer, two runs scored and a career-high six RBI. It was the most RBI in a single game since Alec Bohm drove in six in March, 2018, at ECU.

A native of Lee's Summit, Mo., Clemons posted two hits and two RBI in the first game of the twin bill, and tallied his first collegiate home run.

Kocis and freshman Couper Cornblum, who had a triple and double on the day, both hit a scorching .500 in the batter's box for the doubleheader.

Junior reliever and Wichita native Aaron Bechtel (1-0) earned his first win on the mound as a Shocker in game one, tossing 2 1/3 innings and allowing no earned runs on no hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Right-handed starter Preston Snavely (1-1), a senior from Fort Collins, Colo., secured the victory on the rubber in the nightcap, throwing seven innings and allowing no earned runs on two hits with two walks and nine Ks.

The Shockers fell behind the Tigers (0-9) in game one, 2-0, before Clemons tied the game with one swing in the bottom of the fourth, crushing a 1-0 pitch over the centerfield wall for a two-run shot.

Wichita State took the lead for good two innings later, scoring the go-ahead run in the sixth after Cornblum laced a triple to right field that allowed Ross Cadena to cross home plate.

WSU went on to add a run in the seventh and three in the eighth to seal the 7-2 victory.

Neither team could get anything going offensively in the nightcap until the Shockers broke through with two runs in the fourth, taking a 2-0 advantage. Kocis drove in the opening run of the frame after rocketing a triple to right, scoring Cornblum, prior to crossing home plate himself on a sacrifice fly from Clemons.

WSU blew the game open in the sixth, plating five runs to build its lead to 7-0. Kocis got the offensive surge started with a three-run round-tripper to right-center – his second homer of the season – before Alex Jackson drove in the other pair of runs on a two-RBI single through the right side.

Wichita State capped the game and the series with two runs in the seventh after Kocis smashed a double to right-center, plating Cornblum and Hunter Gibson.

Reuben Bennevendo went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, pacing Texas Southern in game one, while Victor Bueno and Charles Robinson both doubled, leading TSU in the batter's box in game two.

Noe Guerrero III (0-1) suffered the loss on the mound in the opening contest Saturday for the Tigers, allowing three earned runs on three hits with five strikeouts and four walks in six innings. Jacob Morin (0-1) took the setback in game two, surrendering six earned runs on six hits with five Ks and three walks in 5 1/3 innings of work.

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