Wichita State Nips Arkansas in Extra Innings 6
BY ANDRES FOCIL
Wichita, Kan. — The Wichita State Shockers scored the game-winning run on throwing error by the Razorbacks to claim a 6-5 victory in 10 innings Tuesday night at Eck Stadium.
Arkansas dropped to 30-9 overall with the loss, while Wichita State improved to 30-15.
Caton Hall (1-2) took the loss for Arkansas after pitching two-thirds of an inning and allowing one unearned run on one hit.
Noah Booth (1-1) earned the win after throwing one and one-third innings of perfect ball.
Nick McCoola singled with one out in the 10th inning and moved to second on a ground out by Mark Johnson. With two outs, Nick Blasi hit a ground ball to short that was fielded by Clay Goodwin who moved from third in the ninth inning. Goodwin’s throw was low and bounced past first, allowing Johnson to score the winning run.
The loss was the second for the Hogs in extra-innings this season. Arkansas also lost to Mississippi State in 10 innings on March 21. Arkansas is 2-2 in extra-innings this season.
The Razorbacks plated the first run of the game in the top of the third. Jason Pyle walked to open the inning and moved to third on a single down the right field line by Scott Hode. Nick Pitts then hit a sharp grounder up the middle that was snared on a diving catch by shortstop McCoola.
McCoola tagged second and fired to first in time for the double play. Pyle scored on the play to give the Hogs a 1-0 lead.
After going five and two-thirds innings without allowing a hit in his previous outing against ORU (4-15), Arkansas starter Merryman picked up where he left off. The Tulsa, Okla., native surrendered only hits through four innings
The Shockers, however, touched Merryman for three runs on one hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. McCoola singled with one out and moved to second on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Bell. Blasi then singled to center to plate McCoola to even the game at 1-1. Bell moved to third on the single and scored on Phil Napolitan’s sacrifice fly to center to give the Shockers a 2-1 lead. Logan Sorensen gave Wichita State a 3-1 lead with a single that scored Brandon Green who reached on a fielding error.
Jay Sawatski relieved Merryman with one on and one out in the sixth inning. Sawatski gave up a single to McCoola before retiring the final two batters to end the inning.
After tallying a run in the third the Razorbacks were held to only one hit by WSU starter Steve Uhlmansiek from the fourth through seventh innings. Uhlmansiek walked two but benefited from a pair of double plays to keep the Razorbacks from mounting a rally.
Wichita State tacked on another run in the seventh with a pair of two-out doubles. Logan Sorensen doubled to right and scored on a double down the left field line by Drew Moffitt for a 4-1 Shockers’ lead.
After hitting Brady Toops and walking Jason Pyle to open the eighth inning, Uhlmansiek was lifted for Mike Dennison. After forcing Hode to fly out, Dennison gave up a bloop single to Pitts to load the bases for pinch-hitter Scott Bridges. Bridges then hit a fielder’s choice to first, scoring Toops from third to make it a 4-2 game. With two outs, Haas Pratt singled to left to score Chris Williams (pinch-runner) and Pitts to even the game at 4-4.
The Arkansas lead was short lived, however, as Wichita State plated a run in the bottom of the eighth. Cody Clark singled to open the inning and was lifted for pinch-runner Kenny Waddell. Waddell moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McCoola and scored on a double to right by Mark Johnson.
Toops doubled with one out in the ninth to put the tying run on base. Williams lined out to second for the second out of the inning. Kirk McConnell then pinch-hit for Scott Hode and laced a single up the middle to plate Toops and even the game at 5-5.
After allowing a two-out double to Moffit, Roehl got J.R. DiMercurio to ground out to short to send the game to extra innings.
Bridges walked to open the 10th inning, but with one out Blasi robbed a potential game-winning hit by Pratt when he snared a fly ball that would have hit off the top of the wall in center for the second out of the inning. Booth then fanned Clay Goodwin to end the inning.
Arkansas returns to action Friday, April 27, against the Alabama Crimson Tide with a 6:30 p.m. game in Tuscaloosa.
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