In Game 2 of the Wichita State Super Regional UC Irvine defeated Wichita State 3-2 with a walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth. Wichita State scored two runs in the top of the 9th to tie the game. The inning was continued due to an over rule at first when the replay clearly showed Holiday had his foot on the bag for the out. Instead the Home plate umpire came in and over rule the call by the First base umpire. Those were the first two runs that UC Irvine had given up to Wichita State in 17 innings. In the bottom of the ninth with one out, Wichita State lifted starter Rob Musgrave for Anthony Capra. He proceeded to give up a single to Matt Morris. Morris advanced to second on a wild pitch. He came on home on a double by Bryan Peterson which sent the Anteaters to the College World Series.
Every time, UC Irvine found a way to escape.
The Anteaters scored one run, on a bases-loaded grounder in the eighth that Noah Krol nearly fielded, and that was enough to take a ton of momentum in this best-of-3 super regional. UC Irvine won 1-0 today at Eck Stadium, and the Shockers are left shaking their heads.
The Anteaters (44-15-1) can win the super regional and advance to the College World Series with a victory over WSU (53-21) at noon Sunday.
There was not much offense through five scoreless innings. The Shockers had one hit in that span _ Conor Gillaspie’s second-inning single up the middle _ but Irvine starter Scott Gorgen had faced the minimum through four.
In the fifth, WSU’s Josh Workman drew a two-out walk and stole second base, but Tyler Hill grounded out to the first baseman.
The Anteaters’ best threat came in the first inning when Taylor Holiday led off with a single, moved to second on a bunt and stole third base. But Shockers starter Aaron Shafer struck out Cody Cipriano and induced a lazy fly ball from Matt Morris.
Shafer allowed hits in the third and fourth inning _ including a double by Holiday _ but started getting stronger in the middle innings. After Morris’ fourth-inning single, Shafer retired the next nine batters.
Defense played a part on Shafer’s success, specifically Gillaspie’s second inning at third base. The leadoff batter, Aaron Lowenstein, hit a short chopper that Gillaspie had to charge on a full sprint and then make a strong throw. The next batter, Tyler Vaughn, hit a one-hop rocket to Gillaspie’s left. He made an all-out dive and the ball smacked into his glove as he bounced off the artificial turf. Gillaspie popped up and threw out Vaughn.
WSU’s bats came to life in the sixth inning. Dusty Coleman hit a one-out single and tried to take second base on a hit-and-run with Andy Dirks at the plate. But the Anteaters pitched out and threw out Coleman.
That hurt because Dirks followed with a single to left field. He moved to third on Derek Schermerhorn’s single through the left side. When Damon Sublett drew a five-pitch walk, the bases were loaded for Matt Brown. After two leave-his-shoes swings to make the count 0-2, Brown took two balls before striking out much to the big crowd’s dismay.
The Anteaters had their chance in the top of the seventh. Bryan Peterson drew a one-out walk and moved to third base on Sean Madigan’s hit-and-run single just over Sublett at second base.
Irvine then tried its small-ball tactics, having Ollie Linton lay down a one-strike bunt. Shafer fielded the ball and faked a hard throw to first, which drew Peterson down the line. The Shockers caught him in a run-down for the second out.
Facing Lowenstein, Shafer threw a full-count breaking ball that he thought was strike three. When he didn’t get the call, Shafer stared at the umpire from off the mound. Home plate umpire Danny Mascorro told WSU coach Gene Stephenson to hold down his complaining. As those two talked from a distance, third base umpire Kevin Daugherty ejected pitching coach Brent Kemnitz, who didn’t go quietly.
After Kemnitz had his say and the other umpires were satisfied he had left the dugout, Vaughn flew out to center field to end the inning. A fired-up Shafer bulled his way through teammates and he yelled then fired his glove into the dugout.
The Shockers got a hit-and-run call to work in the seventh, and it appeared it could finally lead to a run. Josh Workman hit a one-out single up the middle and was stealing second when Tyler Hill grounded a single through the big hole on the right side of the infield. That gave the Shockers runners on first and third with one out.
But Tyler Weber hit a line drive right at Orloff, Irvine’s shortstop. Orloff then threw to third base to double off Workman.
Wichita State turned to reliever Andy Womack in the eighth. After getting two quick outs, Womack ran into trouble. Two walks sandwiched around a Matt Morris single loaded the bases before Stephenson Womack for Krol.
His first pitch was hit by Madigan right back at Krol. The ball popped out of his glove and flew to nearly the third-base line. By the time Krol caught up with it, he had no play and Irvine led 1-0.
WSU again had a chance to score in the eighth. Coleman led off with a single through the infield’s left side, his third sharply hit ball of the game. Dirks tried to sacrifice Coleman to second but popped the bunt foul.
That worked out for the Shockers as Gorgan then threw three straight balls to walk Dirks. Schermerhorn then tried to bunt, but Gorgan fielded it and threw out Coleman at third base.
Sublett then grounded to second base, starting an inning-ending double play.
Wichita State and UC Irvine weren’t garnering a lot of respect about this time last week as the Shockers were being frowned upon as the final of sixteen host site selections, while the Anteaters were assumed to be just a small bump in the road for Texas in the Round Rock Regional. And while WSU did stumble in their postseason opener, they bounced back to win at home and earn the right to host UCI this weekend, a team that beat the homestanding Longhorns twice last weekend to advance to this point. Though it may not be one of the more glamorous Super Regionals on this year’s slate, it certainly is one of the more evenly matched series of the weekend.
The ace and opening night guy for the Wichita State staff is Travis Banwart, who has put together a 10-5 record and 2.68 ERA this season. After leaving last weekend’s opener early, he came back to pitch (and win) the regional-clinching finale against Arizona. Rob Musgrave, the Shockers’ number two pitcher, is not too shabby himself with a 10-2 mark and 2.71 ERA. In the event of a third game, WSU would likely turn to Anthony Capra (7-0, 1.54). For UC Irvine, meanwhile, Wes Etheridge and Scott Gorgen have been tremendous all year long. The former is 12-4 with a 2.68 ERA, while the latter has put together an 11-2 record and 2.91 ERA. In game three last week, the Anteaters went with Eric Pettis (4-0, 3.91). Considering that both squads have tremendous number one and two starters, there’s no way to give either a huge advantage coming into the weekend.
As mentioned before, this Super matchup won’t receive the same national attention as several others, but it is indeed one of the most evenly matched pairings of the eight. The starting pitching from these two teams is stellar, and each has a guy who can come in and shut the door when they take a lead into the final inning.
So with that in mind, the winner in Wichita will likely be decided by who has the hot bats. If one team can solve the other’s star pitcher early on, they’ll likely find themselves in a good position late in the game, allowing them to bring in their stud closer to shut things down.
Wichita State survived two straight elimination games to advance to a Super Regional. On Monday, Wichita State got a solid performance from Travis Banwart who pitched 7.2 innings while striking out 12 batters and keeping the Wildcats off the board. Banwart pitched on Friday evening against UNO but only lasted 1.2 innings in that start so was fresh for the Shockers. Wichita State will face UC-Irvine in a Super Regional while Arizona ends the season with a 42-17 record.
The Shockers ended the New Orleans Privateers season by winning 7-3 in an elimination game on Sunday and advance to the Regional Final against Arizona. New Orleans ends the season with a 38-26 record.
Wichita State Recap
New Orleans Recap
Wichita State 4 Arizona 3
Wichita State forced a winner take all regional final on Monday by knocking off the Arizona Wildcats 4-3. Wichita got a walkoff single from Derek Schermerhorn which drove him Ryan Jones with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Wichita State Recap
Arizona Opens Postseason with 4-3 Win over Oral Roberts!
In what amounted offensively to “a tale of two games” for Arizona, the Wildcats took advantage of a season-high 16 strikeouts by the pitching staff and a prolonged weather delay to hold off Oral Roberts, 4-3, in the opening game of the NCAA Wichita Regional on Friday.
With the Wildcats mounting just three total hits and the contest deadlocked 3-3 after six and half innings, Mother Nature halted the proceedings with a one-hour and 17-minute severe weather delay in the bottom of the seventh.
The lightning-induced respite provided a much-needed break for the Wildcats’ offense, which strung together three straight two-out singles right after play resumed to scrape across the go-ahead and turn the contest over the UA bullpen.
After ORU reliever Erik Crichton retired the first two UA batters in the seventh, Colt Sedbrook ignited a rally with a bloop hit that fell into right for a single. C.J. Ziegler followed with a base hit up the middle to place runners on first and second for Bill Rhinehart.
With his 12-game hitting streak on the line, the senior outfielder deilivered with a soft single to center that provided just enough time to plate Sedbrook with the go-ahead score.
Preston Guilmet pitched seven strong innings while giving up three runs on seven hits as the Wildcats picked up a 4-3 victory over Oral Roberts. Arizona will take on New Orleans who upset Wichita State while Oral Roberts will play Wichita State.
Oral Roberts Recap
New Orleans 7 Wichita State 6
The New Orleans Privateers shocked Wichita State by knocking them off 7-6 on Friday. UNO put a three run rally together in the top of the ninth to win the game. UNO will take on Arizona on Saturday while WSU will play Oral Roberts in an elimination game.
The Wichita State Shockers are led by Damon Sublett who is hitting .360 on the season. He also has 14 stolen bases. Tyler Webb leads the Shockers with ten homers on the season. Aaron Shafer went 7-2 during the season with 2.39 ERA. They open the weekend at 8 pm EDT on Friday with University of New Orleans.
Wichita State Tourney Notes
The Arizona Wildcats got an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament this season after going 40-15 overall and 15-9 in the Pac-10 as they finished in second place in the conference. They are led by All-American pitcher Preston Guilemt who is 11-2 on the season with a 1.79 ERA. He has struck out 133 batters in 126 innings. The Wildcats offense is Bill Rhinehart who is hitting .362 on the year with 11 homers. They open the tournament with Oral Roberts at 2 pm EDT.
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (40-15) turned some heads last year by making the Super Regionals in 2006. ORU is led by a strong pitching staff in Chance Chapman who is 8-1 with a 1.23 ERA. They also have two other starters with 2.53 ERA or less in Jeremy Hefner (9-1, 2.53 ERA) and Jerry Sullivan (5-0, 1.75 ERA). The offense is led by Brendan Duffy who is hitting .362 on the year. ORU opens the tournament at 2pm EDT on Friday.
The New Orleans Privateers won the Sun Belt title by knocking off Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 8-2 last weekend. They are led Johnny Giavotella (.373 BA, 15 HR) and T.J. Baxter (.372 BA, 11 HR) on offense. The pitching staff is led by Bryan Cryer who is 8-4 on the season with a high 5.28 ERA. They open against Wichita State at 8 pm EDT.
The CBB predicts that Oral Roberts will win the Regional behind their strong pitching.
The Wichita State Shockers have posted the 2007 season preview on the Shocker website. They are led by Gene Stephenson who returns for his 30th season. He has led them to their 29th consecutive season of having 40 wins and made the NCAA Tournament in 24 of those years. He will try to led the Shockers back to the CWS for the first time in 11 years. They return 87 percent of their pitching wins in returning pitchers. On the offensive side of things, Third Baseman Conor Gillaspie will be the focus of the offensive barrage. In 2006, He hit 352 with 18 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 67 RBI.
The full preview is available here.