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Shockers Down Blazers in AAC Tournament Opener

Shockers Down Blazers in AAC Tournament Opener


CLEARWATER, Fla. — Caden Favors pitched shutout ball in the seventh and Wichita State hit a pair of two-run homers to blow open a close game as the #4 seed Shockers defeated #5 seed UAB 8-2 Tuesday morning at BayCare Ballpark.

The Shockers advance to face the winner of Tuesday afternoon's game between #1 East Carolina and #8 Rice. The first pitch of the winners contest is Thursday at 12:00 PM CT.

Favors (9-4) was outstanding over 6.1 innings, allowing six hits and one run while striking out seven and walking just one. The southpaw was helped by some excellent defensive plays early on and pitched out of trouble in the middle innings to earn the win. In the second inning, centerfielder Dayvin Johnson made a spectacular diving catch in right center to deny Tyler Harrington extra bases and in the third, Seth Stroh threw Darryl Buggs to first base after rounding the bagto. Favors then stranded a runner on third base in the fourth, men on the corners in the fifth and another Blazer on board in the sixth before leaving with two on and one out in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Wichita State took advantage of several UAB mistakes to take an early lead. In the second inning, the Shockers (30-27) scored three runs; with the bases loaded and one out, Kam Durnin bounced a ground ball to the shortstop, which should have been an inning-ending double play, but Gavin Lewis Jr.'s flip. to second base went wide, bringing home the first run and leaving the bases loaded. Dayvin Johnson followed by a walk to make it 2-0 and Jordan Rogers was hit by a pitch, bringing in the third run of the inning.

In the fourth, another potential inning-ending double play ball was bobbled by Lewis Jr., loading the bases Dirk Williams followed by a run-scoring fielder's choice grounder to extend the WSU lead to 4-0.

UAB finally got on the board in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, Logan Braunschweig hooked a ground ball to Durnin at shortstop, whose somersault to second baseman Jordan Rogers was not in time for the forced elimination. The play put UAB up 4-1, but Hunter Holmes recovered by grounding again to Durnin, ending the inning.

The Shockers then blew the game open with a pair of two-run blasts in the seventh. After Rogers led off the inning with a double, Josh Livingston hit a long home run off the right-center berm for a 6-1 lead. Mauricio Millan was then hit by a pitch and Seth Stroh followed by a titanic two-run shot of his own, making it 8-1.

Nate Adler took the game the rest of the way for Wichita State, recording the final five outs from the Shocker bullpen. UAB got a two-out RBI single from Nick Hollifield in the top of the ninth for the final margin.

Colin Daniel (7-4) took the loss for UAB, allowing eight hits and six runs (three earned) in 6.1 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Rogers, Livingston and Millan each recorded a pair of hits to lead the Shocker offense.




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