Weather, Wayne State cool down Bods

Eric Smith

The freezing rain and snow this past weekend put a damper on a lot of people’s schedules. The Washburn baseball team was no exception, after a four-game series with rival Emporia State was altered. The Ichabods and No. 3 Hornets will now play a single doubleheader at noon today in Hays. The first game is a seven-inning game before a nine-inning night cap. “I want to beat them and so does everyone else, so it’s just a big game,” said Wes Joy, junior infielder. “I think we can do it. We’re good enough that we can take two games from them.” Although the series has been cut in half and neither team will be playing in front of their home crowd, the two games still mean a lot. “It’s a big rivalry,” said Steve Anson, head coach for Washburn who has seen Emporia State countless times in his 30 years of coaching the Bods. “It’s got to be one of the biggest rivalries in the Midwest and Division II. Doesn’t matter what sport it is, when Washburn and Emporia hook up, it’s a battle.” The Washburn men will be back at home to play a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Tuesday versus Fort Hays State. “Fort Hays is good and they can hit the ball,” said Joy. “Their pitching is just way down though. I’m looking forward to those two games.” The Bods will wrap up the week with a four-game home series beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Falley Field against Missouri Southern. The final two games will be played beginning at noon on Sunday. Washburn did play one game last Wednesday at home against No. 29 Wayne State (Neb.). The Bods lost 10-8 after blowing a 5-1 lead and allowing a grand slam in the sixth. “I don’t think we played bad in our loss to Wayne,” said Anson. “They’re a good team and they took advantage of our mistakes.” The offense was no problem for the Ichabods. They out-hit the Wildcats 12-10 and had four players with two hits apiece in Thomas Holliday, Brian Gorges, Wes Joy and Cameron Kasel. Joy and Kasel also had 2 RBIs apiece. Pitcher Dustin Holthaus earned the no decision in his first start of the season allowing five hits and five runs in 3.1 innings. WU’s Daren Parker received the loss in relief, pitching two innings and allowing three runs. “The game against Wayne was disappointing because two of the three phases were awfully good and we just didn’t pitch,” said Anson. Another event last week regarding the baseball team was the passing of a bill in the weekly Washburn Student Government Association meeting, allowing $150 to be spent by the spirit committee to try to get students and fans to come to home games. Ideas to spend the funds include giving away prizes or possibly even renting a Moon bounce inflatable. Pitcher Curtis Hamilton is all for getting more students out to watch the Bods play. “It’s a lot more fun when there is a lot of people at our games and stuff,” said Hamilton. “It just feels like there’s more excitement in the air and it keeps us going.” The one non-conference game of the week moved the Bods’ record to 12-10 while their 6-4 MIAA record, good for fourth, remained the same. “I feel like we’re starting to play well and I think it’s a good time to be playing Emporia,” said Anson.