Drew Baker at Bat | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University men’s baseball has just cemented itself as one of the best programs in Ohio, as it took down the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Miami Redhawks on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The Buckeye team had averaged eight runs a game and had won its last seven before taking the field against WSU, but the Raiders stifled OSU to only three singles the entire game.
Against Miami, the Raiders were able to come back after giving up five runs in the second inning, showing that, while WSU can dominate a game, it can also find its way back into one quickly.
The Raiders have defeated a big opponent in OSU, but the team has another in-state rival coming to town next week, as the Xavier Musketeers will visit Nischwitz Stadium. Xavier is currently ranked eighteenth in RPI for NCAA baseball and will be a big in-state matchup.
“We’ve just got to keep playing good defense, and obviously, we’ve got to pitch on the mound,” Alex Sogard, head coach for WSU, said.
WSU’s pitching staff was nothing short of destructive against the OSU batters, as the Raiders only gave up three hits, all of which were singles, against the 34 batters the team faced on Tuesday.
The pitching highlight of the day was Alex Theis, whose signature breaking ball kept the pitcher in for six innings. The redshirt senior brought in four strikeouts and only two hits, giving WSU plenty of time to take the lead.
“Alex Theis really set the tone for us. He was able to land a lot of breaking balls,” Sogard said. “I love the fire he had on the mound today. He gave us a chance offensively, and we just scratched and clawed.”
From there, a big home run from redshirt freshman Harrison Parker gave the RaiderGang the lead it needed in the fifth inning. The Raiders never looked back.
Tristan Haught and Jay Luikart took over from Theis in the final three innings and closed out the game in style, giving the Raiders a well-deserved win against a big-name opponent.
“The three arms we threw out there were really talented, and they were the aggressor tonight. They were just attacking and did a really good job keeping them off balance and making pitches when they needed to,” Sogard said.
The Miami comeback
On the following day, the game was not as simple for Wright State. The Raiders got four runs in the first inning, but the Redhawks were able to get five off of WSU errors in the second.
“They gave us some free stuff early, we were able to get four runs on the board, and they kind of punched us back, took the lead after the second,” Sogard said.
As the Raiders were in trouble, the team brought on sophomore Josh Laisure to the mound to stabilize the game. Laisure did exactly that, pitching four scoreless innings in a row for WSU at the perfect time.
From there, WSU’s offense restarted. Sophomore Boston Smith brought in three RBI’s in three at bats throughout the game, and sophomore Andrew Patrick’s two-man homer in the eighth was just enough to bring the Raiders home 9-7.
The raiders will take on Oakland at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 25.