The Washburn baseball team defeated the Truman State Bulldogs last week 21-13 on the road. Trailing 8-7 in the seventh, Washburn put up 12 runs in the inning.
Washburn connected for six hits in the inning, but were aided by four Bulldog errors. Tommy Mangino, Washburn senior catcher, was 3 for 5 with four RBIs, and Kyle Peter, center fielder, was 4 for 4 with four RBIs. Randy Wild, senior pitcher, picked up the win going six innings while striking out five.
Last Saturday Washburn dropped a pair of road games to the Emporia State Hornets, 7-1 and 6-1.
Washburn returned to Falley Field Sunday, returning the favor by sweeping the Hornets 9-6 and 9-8. Trailing 4-1 in the fourth, Reed Howard, Washburn redshirt freshman, knocked in two runs with the bases loaded. The next batter, freshman Wes Joy, doubled down the left field line driving in a pair of runs.
Three batters later, junior Mark Stoltz singled, knocking in two more runs to put Washburn in front 7-4. Washburn freshman pitcher Danny Cook held on for his second victory of the year, pitching seven innings while striking out five. Joy was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and Stoltz was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
“We needed two wins and I’m glad we got the wins in front of a big crowd here at home,” said Stoltz. “Yesterday we hit the ball well but weren’t putting up runs, today we had a lot of timely hitting and everyone was stepping up with people on. We’ve had a good season, but we need to finish strong and win out to try to build for next year.”
In the second game Washburn trailed 8-2 in the seventh inning but rallied for seven runs to take the lead for good. Joy, Calvin Iverson and Peter each doubled in the inning to spark the comeback.
Washburn relief pitchers Drew Tucker and Chris Contee combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless work. Tucker picked up the victory (2-1) and Contee the save. Wild went 6 1/3 innings while giving up six earned runs and striking out two.
“Yesterday we went down there and got swept but I thought we came back with a great approach today,” said Steve Anson, Washburn head baseball coach. “We had a stretch of about 10 games were we gave up a lot of leads late and had chances to win games. Between not getting it done on the mound, defense, and not coming through with clutch hitting, we had struggles that put us behind the eight ball. Mathematically I don’t think we’re out of it yet [MIAA post- season tournament].”
Washburn will play a make-up double header against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats at 4 p.m. Tuesday May 1, at Falley Field. Washburn will then travel to Bolivar Mo. for its regular season finale, playing four games against Southwest Baptist University, May 4-5.
Only the top four teams out of the conference qualify to make the MIAA post-season tournament. It is unlikely Washburn will finish the season in the top four. Washburn is 19-24 overall and 13-17 in the MIAA.
“During the off-season, recruiting is going to be huge for us,” said Anson. “We are going to lose some solid pitchers who are seniors. We need to bring in some good arms in for the starting rotation and the bullpen.”