By George Stieren
FRISCO, Texas – The Wichita State Shockers (5-7) got hot as the temperatures dropped Sunday evening at Riders Field, defeating the Texas A&M Aggies (7-4) by one run in the finale of the Frisco Classic.
The Shockers erased a four-run deficit, scoring six runs in their final three at bats to pull out the win. Wichita State went and unblemished 3-0 over the weekend. Sunday’s WSU starting lineup boasted six Lone Star state products.
“It was good for everybody, but some of the Texas guys we have on the roster – I think it was good for them to play here close to home and play some of the teams they probably grew up watching,” said Wichita State Head Coach Eric Wedge. None of the contest’s central figures were bigger than the winning squad’s first baseman Sigrist, from Plano (Texas).
Shockers’ reliever Connor Holden (1-0) tossed 1 1/3 innings in relief to finish the game and pick up the win. Robert Hogan suffered the loss for the Aggies. Texas A&M initiated the scoring in the top half of the first inning when cleanup hitter Troy Claunch roped a double to left field bringing in Jack Moss from first. Moss reached earlier in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
The Aggies tacked on two more in the second inning when Taylor Smith led off with a walk before Ryan Targac followed up with a two-run home run to left field,6 extending the lead to 3-0.
Texas A&M pushed a fourth run across in the fifth inning to make it 4-0, thanks in part to the baserunning prowess of Kole Kaler. He walked on five pitches, stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch, all before Jack Moss picked him up with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field.
The Shockers then went on the comeback trail in the sixth inning, getting on the board twice. The first run came by way of Couper Cornblum’s RBI double the right-center gap, plating Chuck Ingram, who led off with a walk and moved to third on Payton Tolle’s double. Tolle came around to make it 4-2 on a Ross Cadena single to the right side.
Wichita State overtook Texas A&M an inning later. Xavier Casserilla walked, and then came home when Ingram doubled down the right field line to close the gap to 4-3. Payton Tolle then ripped the first pitch of the next at bat over the lazy river in right field for a two-run homer that traveled 419 feet, putting the Shockers up 5-4. The blast gives Tolle five RBIs in his last seven at bats. Ingram went 2-for-2 on the night with two runs scored to go with two walks and the seventh-inning RBI.
The Aggies answered in the top of the eighth inning as pinch hitter Dylan Rock singled home Ryan Tourgac with the game-tying fifth run. Targac scored from second after walking and advancing to second on a wild pitch.
Wichita State fought back in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead. Cornblum was hit by a Robert Hogan offering, and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then third on yet another wild pitch. Sigrist – who starred at Plano West High School -- hit a liner to right field, forcing Brett Minnich to lay out to snag the drive. While Minnich’s catch was stellar, he could do nothing to stop Cornblum from tagging up and scoring the go-ahead run.
The loss dropped Texas A&M to 1-2 in Frisco. The game, played in front of 4,189 fans, lasted three hours, 17 minutes.