Courtesy of Wichita State Athletics
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Wichita State out-hit Memphis 11-8 but committed three costly defensive miscues, allowing the Tigers to claim a 10-6 win in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Championship. The game began at 10:30 pm local time and was not completed until early on Wednesday morning.
Wichita State (30-24) struck first when Payton Tolle rolled an RBI single into center in the first inning against Memphis starter Luke Ellis. But the Tigers (29-26) answered back with three runs in the top of the second, getting a solo home run from Anthony Hansen, an RBI triple from Brennan DuBose, and a third run when Aaron Baskin's infield pop up was dropped.
Memphis added two more unearned runs in the third. With two on and two out, DuBose hit a long fly ball to left-center that Kyte McDonald could not squeeze, plating both runs for a 5-1 lead.
All five runs were charged to Wichita State starter Grant Adler (5-4), who struck out three and walked three over 3.0 innings of work.
Tolle drove in his second run of the game with an RBI groundout in the third, cutting the Memphis lead back to 5-2. But Logan Kohler promptly restored the cushion in the next half inning with a solo home run for the Tigers.
Brock Rodden got the Shockers as close as they would come with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fourth, pulling WSU back within 6-4. Rodden also homered in the bottom of the seventh as part of a three-hit day, but Memphis scored two more unearned runs in the top of the inning and two eighth inning runs to reestablish a five-run advantage.
A wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth plated Jaden Gustafson, who had singled off the Wichita State bench, bringing in the final run of the game.
David Warren (5-5) earned the win for Memphis, allowing four hits and two runs in 4.0 innings of work with five strikeouts.
The Shockers now face #2 seed Houston in an elimination game on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 47 minutes after the conclusion of the 2:00 pm CT game.