CLEARWATER, Fla. (ECU) – Mason O’Brien hit a pair of home runs and drove in six, while Liam Eddy allowed one run over XX innings as No. 8 seed Wichita State defeated top-seeded ECU 12-5 Friday afternoon during an elimination game in the 2019 American Baseball Championships. With the win the Shockers improve to 28-30 and advances to the semifinals to face No. 4 seed UConn, while the Pirates fall to 43-15 and will wait for Monday, May 27 when they find out who they will play in NCAA Regional action.
O’Brien’s grand slam in the third inning highlighted a five-run frame that put the Shockers up 5-0. With two away and two on, Jordan Boyer singled through the left side scoring Brady Slavens. O’Brien stepped to the plate and launched a first pitch offering from Jake Kuchmaner to right field clearing the bases.
Liam (5-8) earned the win after allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Aaron Haase gave up a run in on three hits and didn’t record an out, while Calvin Marley surrendered a run (earned) on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 1.2 innings. Mitchel Walters pitched a scoreless ninth giving up a pair of hits and striking out two.
Kuchmaner (6-2) suffered the loss allowing a career-high eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits with a walk and strikeout in two-plus innings. The Pirates used seven pitchers in relief getting outings from Zach Barnes (0.1 IP, 3 Rs), Evan Voliva (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K), Evan Odum (0.1 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R, 2 BBs), Garrett Saylor (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K), Carter Spivey (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 Ks), Gavin Williams (1.2 IP, 1 BB, 2 Ks) and Cam Colmore (0.1 IP, 1 K).
Turner Brown’s solo home run in the third pulled the Pirates within four, 5-1. The senior blasted his third homer of the season with one out over the right field wall.
Wichita State added six runs in the home half of the third extended its lead to 11-1. David Vanvooren singled home a run, Luke Ritter’s infield single plated another and O’Brien’s second long ball of the day – a two-run shot – capped the frame.
Boyer’s RBI single through the left side in the fourth scored Jack Sigrist pushing the lead to 12-1.
The Pirates plated three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth capping the scoring at 12-5. Christian Jayne doubled home Brady Lloyd, Nick Barber singled home Connor Norby and Chandler Jenkins’ RBI base hit to right pushed across Jayne in the seventh stanza. Seth Caddell’s RBI single to left scored Thomas Francisco in the eighth.
Eleven different Pirates combined for 14 hits on the day with Barber, Norby and Washer each tallying a pair.