Signature wins becoming the norm for Wright State baseball

Raiders split two-game series against No. 10 Ole Miss to open season

The Alex Sogard coaching-era for Wright State baseball got off to a positive start as the Raiders split the two-game series with 10th-ranked Ole Miss.

The Raiders scored a 9-5 victory in the second game of the season Saturday after losing 10-1 in the series and season opener the day before. The final game of the three-game series was rained out Sunday.

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“It’s always feels great to get the first win out of the way,” Sogard said. “We were hoping to play the last game on Sunday to try and get an opportunity to win a series, but it was good to get a big win on Saturday.”

Earning signature wins against nationally ranked teams has been a frequent occurrence in recent seasons for Wright State. The Raiders have defeated at least one top-20 team for six consecutive years, including upsets over No. 10 Clemson and No. 4 South Carolina in 2017.

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WSU was unanimously selected to repeat as Horizon League champions this preseason. Sogard feels that tough early-season matchups are a good measuring stick for the conference schedule later on.

“I do think they are a good test for our team. We embrace our challenging schedule and feel like we can compete with anyone in the country if we play our brand of baseball,” he said. “We are able to see what our strengths and weaknesses are right away, which will prepare us for conference play.”

The Raiders are back at it this weekend with a three-game series (Friday-Sunday) at No. 19 Oklahoma State.

“Oklahoma State has always been a very good program, so it will be a tough series,” Sogard said. “With our offense, if we pitch and defend like we are capable of, I think it will be a good matchup of two talented teams.”

Left-hander Zane Collins picked up the win vs. Ole Miss and was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week. Collins give up six hits and three runs in five inning. Seth Gray led the offense with four RBIs. Kyle Casserly and Chase Slone added two RBIs apiece. Zach Weatherford had two hits and scored three runs.

“Zane Collins was outstanding on Saturday, and he gave a chance for our offense to put up some runs early. We have a veteran offense, so after going quiet the first game, we were looking to respond in a positive way,” Sogard said. “We had contributions throughout the lineup early and were able to put up a big run late in the game.”

Wright State opens its home schedule against Xavier on Wednesday, March 6, at Nischwitz Stadium.

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