Stoltz grand in Ichabod victory

Matt Resnick

The Ichabod baseball team played through frigid weather conditions to split a pair of games against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats last Friday at Falley Field.

In the first game, Washburn led the Bearcats 4-2, but Ichabods starting pitcher, senior Jeff LaCerte, surrendered a pair of solo home runs in the top of the seventh inning. Washburn failed to score in the bottom half of the inning sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the ninth, Bearcats first baseman Britt Westman singled to center field off Washburn relief pitcher Matt Traxler, driving in Jake Bradshaw to give the Bearcats a 5-4 lead. Washburn loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but junior outfielder Nathan Proctor struck out ending the rally and giving the Bearcats a 5-4 victory.

“I felt like the first ball game was a tough loss,” said Steve Anson, Washburn baseball head coach. “We gave up the two home runs in the seventh, and we were close to having a chance to win. Then we had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and an opportunity to win it, so I felt like we let that one slip away.”

In the second game, Washburn trailed 4-2 but exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-4 lead. Nick Barnes, Washburn junior right fielder, singled down the left field line driving in the first two runs of the inning to tie the game. Kyle Peter, Washburn junior outfielder, then singled to right-center field, driving in the lead run. Washburn junior Mark Stoltz cleared the bases with a towering grand slam to left field off Bearcats pitcher Joel Epley, staking Washburn to a 9-4 lead.

“The grand slam was big,” said Stoltz. “I had runners on, and was trying to get some more runs in. I got a good pitch and stayed back on it. We’ve been playing real well the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a couple of bad breaks here and there, but things are looking real good now.”

The Bearcats mounted a comeback scoring one run in the top of the sixth, and two more in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 9-7. With one out and a runner on first, Washburn reliever, sophomore Drew Tucker, induced the Bearcats Chris Benham to ground into a game-ending double play.

Randy Wild, Washburn senior pitcher, pitched 5 1/3 innings striking out seven and improving his record to 4-3. Stoltz was 1 for 4 with 4 RBIs, and Barnes was 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs.

“In the second ball game we got in there and battled,” said Anson. “Each team gave the other one a lot of opportunities, fortunately we were able to take advantage of some because it wasn’t a real clean baseball game. I thought both teams played through tough conditions, and played well because this isn’t baseball weather.”

Washburn will next travel to Hays to play a doubleheader against Fort Hays State on April 10. Washburn will play games against Missouri Western at Falley Field April 13-15.