WICHITA — It was a chilly, overcast and breezy Tuesday when Caney native and Wichita State University freshman pitcher Jace Kaminska experienced his first career start for the Shockers at home versus Kansas State on March 23. Other than the weather, however, everything was coming up roses for Kaminska as he picked up his first win in a 5-1 victory versus the Wildcats.

The 6’2”, 235-lbs. right-hander finished the game tossing five complete innings while allowing one unearned run on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Ryan Stuempfig went two and two-thirds innings without a run in middle relief, turning things over late in the eighth to sophomore closer Aaron Haase for his fifth save of the season — tops on the team and in the American Athletic Conference.

Things got tight in the top of the eighth with the Shockers up 3-1 as KSU loaded the bases with no outs against Stuempfig, but the righty struck out back-to-back batters before Haase needed just three pitches to ring up the final Wildcat batter of the inning to escape the jam.

WSU senior left fielder Corrigan Bartlett led the way, going 2-4 with a run scored. Freshman center fielder Couper Cornblum was 1-4 with two RBIs, meanwhile sophomore shortstop Jack Sigrist, junior third baseman Paxton Wallace and freshman right fielder Seth Stroh were all 1-3 with a run scored in the winning effort.

Wichita State did most of its damage in the bottom of the third, leading off with a hit by pitch, then Stroh singled and both runners advanced on a sac bunt by Sigrist, who then reached on an error as one run scored. Stroh and Sigrist both then scored on a single by Cornblum, who was subsequently caught in a rundown and thrown out at second base. The next two WSU hitters grounded out and flied out to deep left center to end the rally.

In the bottom of the eighth, Wallace drew a leadoff walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bartlett singled one hitter later and Wallace moved to third, then scored on a failed pickoff attempt. Bartlett then touched home on a single by junior pinch hitter Hunter Gibson to wrap up the Wichita scoring for the 5-1 advantage.

Kaminska retired the side in the top of the first, but in the top of the second, K-State reached on an error, then got a single to the right side of the field before advancing both runners on a sac bunt. Kaminska gave up a walk to load the bases but followed that up with two straight groundouts to first while allowing just one Wildcat to cross the plate. He then allowed just four baserunners over the next three innings before exiting at the end of the fifth. His final out on the mound was a swinging strikeout against KSU’s cleanup hitter.

The Shockers (9-8) begin a three-game home series with Omaha this Friday, March 26.