The Shockers set the tone in the early going, as Sawyre Thornhill and Chuck Ingram each blasted a solo home run to give WSU a 2-0 lead moving to the bottom of the second. But the Trailblazers struck back with three runs over the next two innings against Wichita State starter Payton Tolle (1-0), taking a 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the third on a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Jack Walker.
Ingram continued his monster afternoon by slicing a two-run double to the gap in right-center the next half inning, moving the Shockers back in front by the score of 4-3. Ingram finished the day 3-for-4 with four RBI, to go along with an excellent leaping catch to rob Utah Tech of extra bases in the bottom of the first.
Seth Stroh preserved the WSU lead with a tremendous play in the fourth. With runners at the corners and one out, he snagged a shallow fly ball from Zach Thomas in right field and gunned down the potential tying run at the plate.
The Shockers began to grow the lead in the top of the fifth. Garrett Pennington smacked a two-run homer to right and Jordan Rogers added a sacrifice fly for a 7-3 edge. A wild pitch, Rogers sacrifice fly and Ingram RBI single in the seventh produced the final margin, with two scoreless innings from Nate Snead earning his first collegiate save.
Jake Dahle (0-1) was saddled with the loss for Utah Tech, allowing seven runs over four-plus innings of work.
Adler (2-0) was masterful over six innings for Wichita State, striking out 11 and allowing just one hit, a leadoff single in the bottom of the second. He struck out two hitters in each of the first five innings, and did not allow a Trailblazers runner to reach third base.
The offense gave him plenty of support. Pennington continued his hot streak with an RBI single in the top of the first, then the Shockers launched three home runs in the top of the third to blow the game open. Stroh and Brock Rodden each smacked two-run shots, and Thornhill went back-to-back with Rodden for his third homer in the last three games.
Pennington made it 7-0 with his third homer of the season, a towering opposite-field shot to open the fourth. The Wichita State slugger went a staggering 10-for-14 over the final three games of the series.
Alex Birge made the most of his first WSU start at catcher, recording a pair of base hits. His single in the top of the fifth, combined with a Utah Tech error, brought home Rogers for an 8-0 edge. A passed ball and wild pitch later in the inning provided the final score.
Michael Mulhollon nailed down the win with a 1-2-3 seventh, notching a pair of strikeouts along the way.
Starter Ryan Hardman (0-2) took the loss for Utah Tech, tagged for six runs over 2.2 innings.
The Shockers (4-3) return to Wichita for their first home games of the season next week. Wichita State will open a three-game series against Oakland on Friday, March 3. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM.