Baseball Championship: Wichita State 6, Missouri State 2
No. 1 WICHITA STATE 6, No. 8 MISSOURI STATE 2
WSU (39-18); MSU (20-32)
WICHITA, Kan. - No. 1 seed Wichita State (39-18) got a complete game performance from Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year Jordan Cooper to down No. 8 seed Missouri State (20-32), 6-2, in the late game Tuesday on the first day of the State Farm MVC Baseball Tournament at Eck Stadium-Home of Tyler Field.
Offensively, WSU's Bret Bascue went 2-for-2 with two RBI and his eighth home run of the season, while MSU's Kevin Medrano went 3-for-4 with an RBI and his fourth home run of the season.
Missouri State got on the scoreboard early with a two-out solo home run by KeviN Medrano in the first inning. The Bears' starter, Mike Kickham, retired the side in the bottom of the first frame.
Missouri State opened the second with a single by Luke Voit before Christian Overstreet reached on a fielder's choice. Overstreet was stranded at second after stealing the bag when WSU's Cooper got Tyler Ryun to strike out and Curt Courtwright to line out to first.
In the second, the Shockers got their first baserunner with two outs when Kickham hit Bascue with a pitch after Preston Springer and Johnny Coy struck out. WSU's McKeever then gave Kickham his third strikeout of the inning.
MSU's Brett Marshall opened the Bears' third with a single to left but was out at second on the attempted sac bunt by McComack. McComack reached second on a groundout by Aaron Conway, but was stranded when Kevin Medrano struck out.
Each starter retired the side, respectively, in the bottom of the third and the top of the fourth, which included Kickham's fourth and fifth strikeout. In the bottom of the fourth, Kickham again retired the side with two ground-outs and his sixth strikeout.
WSU's Cooper answered again, retiring the side on three ground-outs in the top of the fifth.
Shocker left fielder Johnny Coy opened the bottom of the fifth with a single to right, WSU's first of the game, while Bascue gave the home team back-to-back singles to right.
With Coy at second and Bascue at first, McKeever flied out to deep center to move Coy to third. With runners at the corners, Kickham's wild pitch scored Coy, and moved Bascue to second. Bascue then advanced to third on another wild pitch, Nate Goro popped up to second for the second out, before Bascue scored on the third wild one of the half inning to put WSU up 2-1.
Grimes walked, and then scored on a Will Baez double to left center. Baez promptly stole third, then scored on another wild pitch that also was ball four to Ryan Jones for a 4-1 Shocker lead. The inning ended when Lassley ground out to short.
Cooper got two quick outs on a fly out and ground out before Medrano singled to right, stole second and scored on a Maddox double to left-centerfield. Voit then flew-out to centerfield for the third out.
In the bottom of the sixth, Springer flew out to centerfield before Johnny Coy walked and Bascue hit his eighth home run of the season to give WSU a 6-2 lead with the two RBI. McKeever flied out the right for the second out, and Goro struck out for the third.
In the MSU seventh, Overstreet struck out, before Ryun and Courtwright singled to put runners at first and second. Marshall then hit into the double-play to end the surging Bears' attack.
Grimes walked to open the bottom o the seventh before Bears skipper Keith Guttin went to reliever Blake Barber. Baez hit into a double-play on the first pitch from Barber before Jones flew out to left.
For the Bears in the eighth, Medrano doubled with two outs, but Maddox struck out to end the inning. Barber retired the side for MSU in the bottom of the frame.
Cooper collected the complete game with two fly-outs to right field and a strikeout of Ryun to end the game. For the game, Cooper (10-2) struckout seven while scattering eight hits and walking none in the complete game win, while MSU starter Mike Kickham (4-9) struck out seven Shockers in six innings to get the loss.
WSU advances to play No. 5 seed Evansville Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., while MSU plays No. 4 seed Southern Illinois at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday.