The Hornets jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the second inning despite recording just two hits. WSC starting pitcher Mitch Herrick, who entered the game allowing just 14 walks and three hit batters in 68 innings pitched, hit two batters and walked another and Emporia State took full advantage.
WSC scored in the bottom of the second inning as Joe Wendte lined a bases-loaded single to right field bringing home Treye Hacker, but Brian Sulzman was thrown out at home on the play preventing the Wildcats from scoring another run to keep the score 5-1.
Emporia State got on the board again in the third inning as catcher Keith Hernandez, the Central Region Player of the Year, belted a solo homer, his 18th of the season, to put the Hornets in front 6-1. The Hornets then chased Herrick in the fourth inning by scoring three runs on an RBI single by Conner Crumbliss to go with a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly to make the score 9-1
The Wildcats did not give up as WSC scored four times in the fourth inning to cut the Hornet lead to 9-5. Treye Hacker led off with a walk and came around to score when Matt Dunn reached base on a throwing error by ESU shortstop Andy Anderson. Dunn then scored on a Joe Wendte two-run homer to center field. Nick Bidroski’s RBI single through the right side brought home Marc Manganaro to plate the fourth run of the inning.
WSC moved closer in the sixth inning as Joe Wendte led off with a single to left field. With one out, Marc Manganaro placed a bunt perfectly down the third base line for a single with Wendte and Manganaro each advancing one base on a throwing error by ESU third baseman Kevin Wempe to put runners at second and third. Second baseman Nick Bidroski hit a soft line drive to Hornet shortstop Andy Anderson, who could not handle the short hop, and Bidroski reached on the eventual fielding error to load the bases. Sean Soderberg and Treye Hacker each drew bases-loaded walks to plate Wendte and Manganaro to make the score 9-7. The Wildcat inning ended when Brian Sulzman grounded out to third, keeping the score 9-7 after six innings of play.
The Hornets regained some momentum in the seventh inning by scoring three runs on five hits, including three straight singles that helped chase Wildcat reliever Chad Moreland, giving Emporia State a 12-7 advantage over WSC. ESU scored another insurance run in the eighth inning, taking advantage of two hit batters by Wildcat reliever Jared Hegdahl, making the score 13-7.
Courtesy Wayne State sports information.
The Wildcats opened the bottom of the eighth inning with three straight singles by Alex Koch, Nick Bidroski and Sean Soderberg to chase Hornet reliever Ty Reese as Soderberg’s single drove home Koch to reduce the ESU lead to 13-8. With runners at first and third and no outs, ESU closer Aaron Burris came in and got three straight outs to get out of the jam as pinch-hitter Ian DeLaet popped to shortstop, pinch-hitter Justin Hemauer was retired on a great defensive play by Burris on a popped up bunt and then catcher Matt Dunn grounded out to second to end the scoring threat.