Shockers Bludgeon Pirates, Advance to Semis

Wichita State 14, East Carolina 4
 
W: LaPour (6-3)
L: Kahler (1-1)
S: None
 
CLEARWATER, Fla. —¬†Wichita State erased a late deficit with 13 unanswered runs, rolling past top-seeded East Carolina 14-4 on Thursday afternoon at BayCare Ballpark.
The Shockers (31-27) advance to the semifinals of the AAC tournament, where they will await the winner of Rice-East Carolina on Saturday morning at 8:00 am CT. The Owls and Pirates play on Friday at 12:00 pm CT.

The Shockers trailed 3-1 entering the top half of the sixth when the barrage began. After a fly out opened the inning, Wichita State loaded the bases on a walk, single and East Carolina error. An infield grounder from Kam Durnin plated a run when nobody covered first base for the Pirates and Lane Haworth followed by banging a three-run double to the gap in left-center to give the Shockers a 5-3 lead. Dayvin Johnson grounded out for the second out of the inning, but Jordan Rogers was hit by a pitch to put two runners aboard for Josh Livingston. On an 0-1 pitch, Livingston cranked a long blast to right-center field that cleared the wall for a three-run homer and an 8-3 advantage.

Livingston put the game out of reach one inning later. Wichita State loaded the bases on a hit by pitch, single and walk with nobody out, but ECU reliever Jaden Winter retired the next two hitters. On a 2-2 pitch, Livingston unloaded on a no-doubter to right field for his second homer of the day, a grand slam that gave him seven RBI on the day and Wichita State a 12-3 lead.

WSU put two more runs on the board for good measure in the ninth, adding on via a Seth Stroh RBI single and another East Carolina error.

The onslaught made a winner out of WSU starter Tommy LaPour (6-3), who allowed seven hits and three runs over 6.2 innings. LaPour struck out three and walked two, allowing just one run after the first inning.

Tyler Dobbs recorded the final out of the seventh and Hunter Holmes worked the final two innings, allowing an unearned run in the ninth before closing out the win.

Chris Kahler (1-1) took the loss for East Carolina, allowing two hits and three runs over 1.1 innings. The Pirates (41-14) used eight pitchers on the day.

Durnin and Jaden Gustafson led the Shockers with three hits apiece. Wichita State drew six walks and earned four hit by pitches.