New Media Producer: Mike Mardis
In a game that was delayed over four hours due to rain at the start, and nearly two additional hours by rain in the second inning, it was the nationally-ranked Wichita State Shockers who ended up raining on the University of Evansville baseball team's parade on Sunday, as the Shockers posted a 16-3 victory in seven innings over the Purple Aces at UE's Charles H. Braun Stadium.
The Shockers took all of the drama out of Sunday's game in the first inning, exploding for nine runs off of two different UE pitchers after the two teams sat through a more than four-hour delay to start the game. The first six Shocker players reached base in the inning, with five of them coming around to score to set the tone in the contest. Outfielders Andy Dirks and Ryan Jones both went 2-for-2 in the inning alone with a pair of runs scored.
Evansville would answer back with a run of its own in the bottom of the first inning on a one-out double by freshman second baseman Shawn Kuester and an RBI single off of the bat of rookie outfielder Greg Wallace to trim the lead to 9-1. Junior shortstop Andy Smith would then launch his second home run of the year, a solo shot to right field to lead off the second inning, to trim the deficit to 9-2, before both squads had to sit through another delay of one hour and 39 minutes due to rain.
When the game resumed, Wichita State starter Anthony Capra (8-0) mowed through the Evansville lineup, yielding just another single to Wallace and a pair of walks, while striking out five men before being lifted after five innings of work. The Shocker offense would also tack on a single run in the third inning, five runs in the fourth, highlighted by a grand slam by outfielder Bret Bascue, and another run in the fifth inning to take a 16-2 lead.
Evansville would cap the scoring in the sixth inning with a solo home run to left field by third baseman Peter Tountas to provide the final score of 16-3. The game was called after seven innings due to the Missouri Valley Conference's run rule.
Jones, third baseman Conor Gillaspie, and Bascue all had three hits for the Shockers, while Bascue added six RBI. Wallace paced Evansville's offense going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a double, his team-best 17th of the year.