NCAA HOUSTON WICHITA ST BASEBALL

Wichita State's Aaron Shafer pitches in the seventh inning of an NCAA regional baseball game against Houston in Norman, Okla., Friday, June 2, 2006. Wichita State won 2-1. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

• WSUfreshman outduels possible overall No. 1 pick



Houston pitcher Brad Lincoln has dominated this season, winning his last 10 starts and leading the nation in strikeouts.

But he was shown up Friday at the Norman Regional.

Wichita State freshman All-American Aaron Shafer held the second-seeded Cougars to six hits over seven innings in the third-seeded Shockers’ 2-1 first-round victory.

Shafer (11-3) only struck out three, but he kept Houston’s power-laden lineup flustered.

But he admitted he’s had better days.

“The spotting of my fastball was everywhere; the curveball at times was good. The change-up was OK,” he said.

“They got themselves out today.”

Lincoln (12-2) had better days, too. He allowed seven hits but the 62/3 innings he pitched was his shortest outing since a February loss to Arizona State. He struck out five, but struggled with his command, issuing a season-high five walks.

Wichita State made him work for every out and he had to work his way out of jams in nearly every inning.

“They don’t strike out much so it threw me off my game a little bit,” Lincoln said. “I had to adjust my game plan a little bit. They put the ball in play and it worked out for them. It was just their day.”

The Shockers (45-20) had early opportunities to blow the game open. After Matt Brown doubled home Kenny Waddell in the top of the first inning, they left seven runners in scoring position over the five frames.

“The best chance to get to a great pitcher is before he settles in,” Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson said. “In the first two innings, I thought we had some great opportunities and didn’t cash in.”

Lincoln, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate, scored the Cougars’ only run in the second. He singled and came home on Luis Flores’ double.

However, Houston (39-21) never cashed in again.

“We had a few opportunities we just failed to execute and cash in on the opportunities we had,” Houston coach Rayner Noble said.

Wichita State left 10 on base but got the run it needed in the seventh. Conor Gillaspie doubled home Josh Workman for the game-winning run.

He hardly seemed impressed with his efforts.

“It was a good pitch,” Gillaspie said. “Lucky hit, I guess.”

But a win the Shockers will gladly take. They’ll face TCU at 7 tonight.

Houston gets Oklahoma in an elimination game at 1 p.m.

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