Ichabods baseball team prepares for season opener

Ready to get outside Keith Barkemeyer, senior pitcher, works on his pitching during practice. The Ichabods have been forced to practice inside due to the weather, but are hoping it will not hold them back as they open their season against Wayne State on Sunday.

corey garriott

Before the Washburn baseball team takes on its first opponent of the season, it is waging a different sort of battle.

Washburn takes on the Wayne State Wildcats out of Nebraska in a 1 p.m. doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 25 at Falley Field. However, maybe an even greater opponent leading up to the season/home opener is the weather.

“My concern is that we’ve been stuck in the gym all year,” said Steve Anson, head baseball coach. “And I don’t know if we’ll get outside. So opening day may be our first day on the field.”

That could spell trouble as Wayne State is no slouch of a team.

“They were a team that was in the regional last year and played well,” said Anson. “They are traditionally a top 25 team, so they’ll be good, I know that much. It’s a tough opener for us.”

Since 2004, the Ichabods are 2-4 overall against the Wildcats with all of the games being played at Falley Field. Last season’s opener for Washburn came vs. Wayne State too as the Ichabods lost both games by scores of 7-3 and 9-5.

Anson said one change from last season’s Ichabod squad to this season’s is the overall team speed, but to improve upon their 29-25 record from a year ago, the Ichabods need to shore up little mistakes that can lose a ball game.

“I’d like to be a team that doesn’t beat itself,” said Anson. “If we’re going to get beat, I’d like teams to play awfully well to beat us. I think last year we beat ourselves a few times.”

And those few times they beat themselves proved costly in the end.

“Last year I think the thing that kept us out of the regional was we lost a lot of close ball games. We lost a lot of close ball games to top 20 teams and regional teams,” said Anson. “It’s one of those things. A couple more wins in those close games may have been the difference between us being sixth instead of seventh and getting the final spot in the regional.”

Randy Wild, senior, is slated to pitch in the first game Sunday with Tommy Mangino, senior, catching. In the second game, Jeff LaCerte, senior, is slated to pitch with Mark Stoltz, junior, catching. Wild was 2-4 on the mound last season and LaCerte was 6-3.

“We’re anxious to get going, we’re excited,” said Anson. “We just hope that the weather cooperates with us.”