Tuesday, June 6, 1989
Pitcher Greg Brummett took a swing at the Arkansas voodoo doll hanging by a string in the Wichita State dugout.
Then the Shocker senior jerked the doll off the string.
The doll - made by WSU players out of tongue depressors taped together - didn't survive its College World Series stay. But Wichita State remained alive Tuesday night by beating Arkansas 8-4 with help from Brummett's gutsy pitching performance.
"He wasn't as sharp as he was the last time against us," Arkansas Coach Norm DeBriyn said. "But, boy, he's a competitor and he battled us. He made big pitches when he needed them, yet he was running out of gas."
Wichita State relief ace Jim Newlin replaced Brummett in the eighth inning. That's when the right-hander took out his frustration on the voodoo doll.
Brummett said he was mad at himself for permitting Arkansas to rally for three runs in the eighth. WSU entered the inning with a 7-1 lead.
"I'm the type of pitcher who likes to finish the game," Brummett said. "I don't like to come out of a heated situation. I feel like I should have done the job."
Brummett did his job, Shocker Coach Gene Stephenson said.
"I thought Gregg Brummett pitched very well," he said. "He did a lot of good things out there. He got a little tired. I think I probably went one batter too long with him. I know I did."
Brummett, 17-2, pitched with only three days rest after beating Arkansas 3-1 in a first-round game Friday night. He limited the Hogs to four hits in 7 1/3 innings. He gave up 12 over the same number of innings in Tuesday's game.
"To try to come back on three days rest when you are used to five during the season is pretty tough," Arkansas left-fielder Troy Eklund said. "It just showed the type of pitcher he is to be able to hold us down and not have his real good stuff."
Eklund hit a two-run homer and Haden Etheridge added an RBI double to chase Brummett in the eighth.
"I pitched pretty well," he said. "But I'm a little disappointed in myself that he didn't work out of it. I did keep the team in position to win, and that's what counts."
Brummett needed time to cool off after he left the game.
"I put too much pressure on myself and do things like slam my glove down," he said. "I know I shouldn't do it. But it's natural. Anybody does it if they're human.
"I do it all the time. But I calm down pretty much after I get done doing it. It's just a little burst of energy I have when I get mad."
Brummett said the Shocker players make voodoo dolls of opposing players for some games.
"I've done that once before," he said. "It's the second one I've pulled down."
Wichita State catcher Eric Wedge said Brummett is a competitor.
"Greg really wanted to finish that game," he said. "I think the heat affected him, but he gave us all he had. He's a great competitor. I love to catch him. I look for him to go places."
Brummett is the only pitcher with a 2-0 record in the series. The Shockers hope to give him one more chance. They need to beat Florida State tonight and Friday to reach Saturday's title game.
Brummett said he'll be ready if Wichita State makes it to the final.
"I'm a senior, so it's pretty important to me," he said. "That's all we want to do is get a chance to win the national championship. I hope we get there, and I get another chance."