Courtesy of Wichita State Athletics
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Wichita State was held to one hit through eight innings, rallying in the ninth before falling one run short in a 4-3 loss to Houston on Thursday morning at BayCare Ballpark. The loss ends Wichita State's season with a record of 30-25.
Four of the final five losses of the season for Wichita State came by one run.
The Shockers had been stymied for eight frames by the combination of Paul Schmitz and Maddux Miller, who combined for eight strikeouts and allowed just one hit, a one-out single from Brock Rodden in the first. Trailing 4-0 into the ninth and down to their final three outs, Wichita State opened the inning against Houston closer Justin Murray with consecutive singles from Chuck Ingram and Rodden. Garrett Pennington followed with a long three-run home run to left field, pulling the Shockers to within one. Murray bounced back to retire the next three hitters on two fly outs and a strikeout to end the game.
Houston (34-22) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Brandon Uhse rifled a two-run double down the line in left off Wichita State starter Payton Tolle (9-3). Tolle exited after just 3.0 innings, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out two and walking two. Robert Cranz put together a strong outing in relief, holding the Cougars to one run over 3.0 innings while striking out five. Nate Snead worked the final two innings, allowing a run in the eighth on an RBI single from Cameron Nickens that proved to be the difference.
Houston advances in the loser's bracket to await the loser of Tulane and Memphis on Friday night.