WICHITA, Kan. The Wichita State baseball team used a three-run fifth to defeat Southern Utah 5-2 in front of 2,799 fans at Eck Stadium. With the win, the Shockers improve to 5-0 while Southern Utah falls to 6-3.
SUU jumped on the board in the top of the first when Shocker starter Kris Johnson walked the first two batters and then gave up an infield single to Justin Soleto. The Thunderbirds were only able to score one run as Jeff Oliverson hit into a double play and then Shocker catcher Joe Muich picked off runner Jason Ruiz at third.
The Shockers were unable to do anything off of SUU starter Dusty Nielsen until the fifth when they loaded the bases on three-straight singles by Tad Reida, Danny Jackson and Joe Muich. Matt Brown then hit a come backer to the pitcher who threw out Reida at home, but Thunderbird catcher Beau Stoker threw over the head of his first baseman and two Shocker runs came home on the error, while Brown advanced to third. Carlos Jackson then hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Brown to make the score 3-1 Shockers.
SUU added an unearned run in the sixth off of reliever Kyle Touchatt, but WSU got the run back in the bottom of the frame when Tyler Hill led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a balk and scored on a double by Blake Hurlbutt.
The Shockers added an insurance run in the seventh when Brown doubled and was brought home on a single by McCoola to make the score 5-2.
Johnson (2-0) earned the win for the Shockers improving his overall record at WSU to 9-0. Touchatt pitched the final four innings to earn his second save of the season.
Hill and Hurlbutt led the Shockers offensively both going 2-for-4.
The teams will meet in the final game of the three-game series on Sun., Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. at Eck Stadium.