The Washburn Ichabod baseball team will open up a four-game series against the University of Mary Marauders at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Falley Field.
The game Thursday will mark the season opener for the Ichabods because their opening series against Wayne State was postponed due to bad field conditions and rain in the forecast.
Last year the Ichabods played the Marauders early in the season at home as well, taking five games from them in convincing fashion. However, Steve Anson, head Washburn baseball coach, doesn’t think last year’s five-game series holds any indication for what will happen this week.
“I don’t think so because that was the first year for the new coach and I don’t think he had an opportunity to recruit and was kind of limited in what pitching they had,” said Anson. “Last year when we had played them we had been outside for several months and had a big jump on them. They were just kind of getting their feet wet.”
This year the tables are turned. The Ichabods haven’t been outside much due to the weather, while the Marauders already have a few games under their belt. But their 1-3 record through Saturday is unimpressive. Thursday will be a single nine-inning game.
The two teams will then play another single nine-inning game at 3 p.m. Friday, March 2, followed the next day by a noon, seven-inning doubleheader.
Scheduled to start on the mound in the first two games are Randy Wild, senior, and Jeff LaCerte, senior. Wild was 2-4 on the mound last season and LaCerte was 6-3.
A long series like this at the beginning of the season, Anson said, is a good chance to assess the depth in the bullpen because of the grind that comes with playing three straight days.
“To me, in a four-game series over three days, it gives you a chance to really look at your bullpen,” said Anson. “It gives you a chance to look at your middle guys and late guys, especially this time of the year.”
After the Mary series, the Ichabods will still have 13 straight games home at Falley Field, providing an excellent opportunity to start the season off right.
“Every team likes to get off to a good start and having those games at home will hopefully give us a chance to do it,” said Anson.