Egan helps Ichabods to split with Tigers

Egan helps Ichabods to split with Tigers

The bullpen once again made things interesting for the Washburn baseball team as it split a doubleheader against the Fort Hays State Tigers last Wednesday at Falley Field. Washburn dropped the first game 9-2, and narrowly escaped the second game 12-11.

“I was real pleased to see the way we came out and battled in the second game,” said Steve Anson, Washburn head baseball coach. “Really it was kind of a tough loss for us in the first game. We had a defensive letdown in the second inning where a poor decision probably cost us four runs, and that really changed the complexion of the game.”

A costly throwing error allowed the Tigers to jump out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. The Tigers, never in danger, scored four of four hits in the fifth inning, cruising to the seven-run victory.

Washburn freshman pitcher Jake Iverson was the losing pitcher (0-1). Iverson gave up four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings of work, recording no strikeouts and walking three batters.

“Consistency from our bullpen is important right now,” said Anson. “One day we’ll get somebody out there throwing real well, and the next time they go out it’s not real sharp. We’ve been swinging the bats pretty well, we’ve been hitting, but we haven’t been hitting in clutch situations.”

Washburn bounced back in the second game thanks to a monster game from Dan Egan, Washburn junior outfielder. Egan was 3 for 5 from the plate with four RBIs. However, his biggest contribution was his game-saving throw from left field with two outs in the ninth inning. Staked to a 12-8 lead, Brian Shively, Washburn relief pitcher, was getting knocked around by the Tigers’ bats. After three singles, an error and a walk, Washburn found itself nursing a 12-10 lead with two outs and the bases loaded.

It looked as though the Tigers would complete the comeback when Rob Nelson, first baseman, connected on a hit to left field, scoring the runner at third, but the Tigers elected to gamble and send the runner coming from second base home. Egan’s throw was on the line punching out the runner at home plate to preserve the 12-11 victory. Drew Tucker, Washburn sophomore pitcher, picked up his first victory of the season (1-1).

“It’s a do or die situation and you have to make the throw, and I just tried to put it on the money,” said Egan. “In a situation like that you want to make the other team throw you out, so I wasn’t surprised they sent the runner. I just came up and made the play. We still have that one big inning we give up every game that we need to knockout. If we can do that, then we are a solid ball club.”

If he had the decision to make over again, Tigers coach Rick Sabath indicated he would have held the runner at third.

“It was definitely a mistake on my part in that situation,” said Sabath. “The philosophy is, with two outs, we want to make them make the play. Their guy made a nice play and throw. We had a good hitter coming up next, so in hindsight, we should have held the guy.”

Washburn plays Newman at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Falley Field. Washburn will face Emporia State at 5 p.m. Friday, April 27, at Falley Field.