Saturday, June 05, 2004
Shockers win a thrillerPosted by Matthew Namee
My dad drove up from Wichita to go to the Royals-Red Sox game with me tonight. Lawrence (my town) is on the way from Wichita to Kansas City, so my dad came through to pick me up. Trouble was, Wichita State was playing a crucial NCAA tourney game against Arkansas (at Arkansas, one of the toughest places to play) at the same time. We tried to get the Wichita broadcast on the car radio, and we heard bits and pieces, but it was more static than anything else.
So, we called my brother Andrew, who put his phone next to the radio. We put the cell in the car on speaker, and listened to the WSU broadcast that way. Ah, the joys of modern technology.
Anyway, the Shockers were leading 3-0 through six, thanks to freshman starter Kris Johnson's fine pitching. Arkansas touched Johnson for a couple runs in the seventh, and star senior Tommy Hottovy came in to finish the inning. The Razorbacks got to Hottovy in the 8th, scoring an unearned run, but after that Hottovy shut them down.
Neither team scored again until the top of the 11th, when senior Drew Moffitt hit a solo home run (his 26th HR of the year) to give WSU the lead. Hottovy finished things off in the bottom half of the inning, and Wichita State won the game. The victory is crucial, as it means that WSU needs just one more win to advance to the Super Regionals (where they'll probably play Florida State). Because of the loss, Arkansas (who beat Missouri in the loser's bracket game that followed) needs to beat Wichita State twice Sunday.
Actually, that Arkansas-Missouri loser's bracket game must have been something. The Razorbacks led 10-1 going into the bottom of the 9th, but Mizzou didn't go quietly, scoring 6 runs in the last half-inning before falling 10-7.
Oh, and here are Tommy Hottovy's current stats for 2004: 9-3, 2.25 ERA, 92 strikeouts, and 10 walks in 76 innings.
Matthew Namee cofounded The Hardball Times in 2004, when he was working as the assistant to baseball author and Red Sox executive Bill James. Matthew still lives in Kansas, where he is currently pursuing a law degree. He can be reached at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.