Ichabod baseball wins against Rockhurst, splits series with Missouri Southern Lions

Rocket Man Wes Joy slams the ball in one of the home games. The Ichabods will return home after beating Rockhurst and splitting with Missouri Southern State University to play six games against Kansas opponents Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State.

Eric Smith

The Washburn baseball team has had an up-and-down year with little consistency. Last week was no exception.

The Ichabods began the week Tuesday with a 3-2 win against Rockhurst in Kansas City, Mo. The win ended a four-game losing streak in the season and a five-game losing streak against RU. It was the first time the Washburn men won at RU since 1994.

The Ichabods then had a four-game weekend home-stand against Missouri Southern. They split the series 2-2, winning one of the two doubleheader games on both Friday and Saturday.

The Lions of Missouri Southern got the best of the Ichabods during the first game of the series on Friday, winning 6-5. The Washburn baseball team got out to an early 3-0 lead in the second and by the fifth was up 5-1. However, the Lions fought back and scored three runs in the sixth inning off of three hits and two errors to put them within one run. In the seventh MSU scored two more runs, giving them the lead for good. The only hit of the inning for the Lions was a bunt, and with one walk and four wild pitches the Ichabods managed to blow the game.

“After that first game we kind of gave it away to them,” said junior third baseman Joe Hosey. “We came out a little more aggressive in the second game. We had a good approach and were putting balls where they weren’t.”

Sophomore Danny Cook pitched six innings, giving up four runs with seven hits and five strikeouts. Junior pitcher Andrew Miller took the loss for Washburn.

The second game saw more runs scored as the Ichabods won 16-6. Going down 2-0 in the second, the Washburn squad quickly rebounded by scoring 12 runs in the next three innings and another four runs in the final inning. The Lions would score three more runs but still lose the game, which was shortened because of the 10-run rule. Junior Brett Sorenson gained the win and moved to 3-1 pitching five innings and allowing five funs on five hits with two strikeouts and four walks.

“[The pitching] has pretty much been handling business all year doing their part,” said junior outfielder Calvin Iversen.

Three players led the way offensively for the Ichabods. Freshman catcher Cameron Kasel went 3 for 5 with three runs and three RBIs while Hosey had three hits, two runs and two RBIs. Senior designated hitter Mark Stoltz went 2 for 2 with three runs and 2 RBIs.

“We were just more aggressive hitting those good hard fastballs,” said Iversen. “Once you get a collection of hits, it’s just contagious and just adds on.”

Saturday’s doubleheader had the same result, as each team managed to win one game. The first game began with Missouri Southern scoring five runs in the first inning as the Lions managed to get their first six batters on base. The five runs proved to be too much as the Ichabods could muster only three for the game and lost 7-3. Senior Zach Engelken received the loss, giving up six earned runs and ten hits in five innings.

“I don’t think we came out ready to get up on somebody and beat them,” said Hosey. “The first game really opened our eyes and allowed us to come out in the second game and beat them.”

The Ichabods won the nightcap on Saturday 6-3. Although they were down 1-0 in the first inning, the Washburn men scored three in the bottom of the second to take the lead for good. Senior Brian Stroth went the distance, pitching eight innings and allowing just two runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Junior Curtis Hamilton picked up his third save of the year with his one-inning appearance in the ninth.

“Giving away those two games both days hurt, but we bounced back and salvaged the weekend with a split,” said Iversen.

The Washburn baseball team is now 8-11 overall and 5-7 in the MIAA. They moved to 6-4 at home with the four-game split.

The Ichabods will stay at home to play six games this week. The first two are a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Tuesday, when the Fort Hays State Tigers come to town. The last four will take place during the weekend against Pittsburg State. The first is at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday and a 12 p.m. Sunday game.

“I think we need to be more consistent. The only thing consistent right now is our pitching,” said Hosey. “Our defense and our offense needs to come together if we want to start winning games consistently.”