A walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning help keep Wichita State as the only perfect team through three league games, as Cody Lassley led the Shockers to a series sweep over the Bradley Braves Sunday afternoon following a 5-1 MVC win. The only other game on today's schedule featured an Evansville 3-2 victory over Missouri State at Hammons Field.
WICHITA STATE 5, BRADLEY 1 (10 Innings)
WSU (14-7, 3-0 MVC); BU (6-12, 0-3 MVC)
WICHITA, Kan. - Cody Lassley hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Wichita State University baseball team battled back to sweep the series against the Bradley Braves Sunday afternoon following a 5-1 Missouri Valley Conference win.
Wichita State improves to 14-7 overall on the season and 3-0 in the Valley while Bradley falls to 6-12 on the year, 0-3 in the conference.
Lassley was the hitting star of the game for the Shockers, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Ryan Jones was 2-for-5 with a run scored while Kevin Hall had two hits in four trips to the dish.
Jason Lelebijian was 1-for-2 with a run scored for Bradley.
The first eight innings of the game featured a pitchers duel between WSU starter Charlie Lowell and Bradley's Jacob Booden. Lowell held the Braves to only two hits over seven innings of work with six strikeouts.
Booden allowed one unearned run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Lowell exited in the eighth inning and the Braves went to work, scoring the game tying run as pinch hitter Brad Kimball drew a bases loaded walk. WSU pitcher Logan Hoch was able to get the next batter on a fielder's choice to end the threat.
Following a scoreless bottom half of the eighth, the Braves looked to jump out on top in the ninth as they put two runners on with no outs thanks to a single and a Shocker fielding error. Chance Sossamon fielded a comeback bunt attempt by Mike McMillian to get the lead runner at third on the next play and then got the final two outs on a strikeout and a ground out.
The Shockers then loaded the bases in the home half of the ninth inning as Lassley singled to right field and then moved to second on a fielding error by the Bradley pitcher. Tyler Grimes reached on a infield single, loading the bases, but the Braves were able to pull out some magic around the infield as Kori Jensen got a ground out to first and then a 4-3 double play to end the inning.
The Braves went quietly in the 10th inning with Sossamon staying on the mound to finish out two hitless innings of relief.
Wichita State got a lead off single by Erik Harbutz and then another single by Jones to put two runners on with no outs. A balk advanced the runners to second and third and following an intentional walk to Garrett Bayliff, Lassley belted the fourth pitch he saw from Jensen over the left-field fence for his sixth home run of the season.
Harbutz finished the game going 1-for-4 with a run scored for WSU.
The Shockers will now head on the road as Wichita State travels to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Wildcats for a single game on Tuesday, Mar. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
EVANSVILLE 3, MISSOURI STATE 2
UE (12-13, 2-1 MVC); MSU (8-15, 1-2 MVC)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - University of Evansville junior left-hander Seth McCabe gave UE seven strong innings on Sunday, and senior Tom Heithoff added two RBI base hits and nailed down his fifth save of the year to help the Purple Aces pick up a series victory at Missouri State with a 3-2 victory over the Bears at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri.
Evansville jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI ground out by sophomore infielder Trentt Copeland, but Missouri State would answer back with an RBI single by freshman Luke Voit in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at 1-1.
Heithoff would then follow a lead-off double by senior designated hitter Andy Pascoe with an RBI base hit to right-center field to give UE a 2-1 lead in the second inning. From there, McCabe (3-0) took over and scattered seven hits and two walks over 7.0 innings of work, while keeping the score 2-1.
UE would tack on an insurance run in the seventh inning to take a 3-1 lead on an RBI double by Heithoff. The run would be needed, as Missouri State threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings against the Purple Aces.
The Bears would load the bases in the eighth inning against the UE bullpen, only to have senior reliever Corey Davisson work out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to keep the lead 3-1. Missouri State would then finally break through for a run against Heithoff in the ninth inning on a pair of infield singles, before the right-hander bounced back to get first baseman Tyler Ryun to fly out to right field to preserve the win and earn his fifth save of the year.
Heithoff was the lone Purple Ace with a multi-hit effort on Sunday, as he went 2-for-3 with two RBI, driving in two of UE's three runs. Second baseman Kevin Medrano led five Missouri State players with multi-hit games with a 3-for-5 effort. Missouri State out-hit Evansville 12-7 on the afternoon, but the Bears stranded 12 men on base, compared to just two for Evansville.
With the victory, Evansville improves to 12-13 overall and 2-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Missouri State, meanwhile, falls to 8-15 overall and 1-2 in the Valley with the loss. The Purple Aces will be off until next Friday, when UE welcomes preseason MVC favorite Wichita State to town for a three-game series. The series begins Friday night at 6:00 p.m. and continues on both Saturday (2:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.) afternoon.