WU baseball wins game 3, takes series

Dinger: Freshman Chance Ragsdale gets a high five and a smile from head coach Harley Douglas as he rounds third after hitting a home run. The home run was the first of Ragsdale's college career.

The Washburn baseball team played their first home series of the year at Falley Field this weekend against the Southwest Baptist Bearcats. The Ichabods took the Sunday afternoon rubber match to win the series 2-1 after splitting the first two games.

Friday night was a full team effort that saw the Ichabods come out on top by a score of 7-1. Starter, Josh Ramirez, threw seven shutout innings and the offense provided a spark with a 4-run sixth inning to gain some breathing room for the bullpen. SBU scored their lone run in the eighth after the departure of Ramirez.

1B Brady Hoover and DH Wyatt Featherston were 3-5 and 3-4 at the plate respectively and RF Rorey Combs knocked in a pair of runs on a double to pace the offensive effort.

Saturday afternoon saw the Bearcats dominate all but one inning to stave off a late Ichabod rally and win the game 4-3. SBU got on the board with a run in the first and led 4-0 heading into the eighth inning. CF Javis Larson got Washburn on the board with a sac fly and a two-out 2 RBI double from RF Peter Shearer got the game within a run, but they went quietly in the ninth.

Jacob Head was strong on the mound for Washburn only surrendering two earned runs over six innings but still suffered the loss.

Sunday’s series finale was a high scoring affair but only one team participated. Southwest Baptist scored a run in the top of the first, but it was all Washburn after that. The Ichabods scored in every inning to put up 17 runs in seven innings and implement the run rule to end the game after those seven innings.

Shortstop Xavier De Leon got the game started with a single, and after a sac bunt he scored on a single up the middle by Hoover to tie the game at one.

The Ichabods were on the board in the second when Featherston ended up on third after a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and came home to score immediately on a single to right by Larson. Larson then scored on another hit by De Leon.

Featherston knocked in another run in the third and third baseman Lane Harvey followed later in the inning with a 2-RBI double to stretch the lead to 6-1.

With the big lead, starting pitcher Brock Gilliam was able to fire away on the mound without much stress and his teammates were appreciative of his efforts.

“You know just getting on top, getting that first pitch strike and then being able to work from there was the big thing,” said Larson.

Gilliam surrendered only one run over six innings scattering five hits.

Washburn tacked on two in the fourth and another in the fifth before completely opening the flood gates in the bottom of the sixth with an eight spot to put an exclamation mark on the day.

The biggest blow of the inning came on a pinch-hit three-run homer from shortstop Chance Ragsdale that was long gone over the left center wall and sent the dugout into jubilation for their freshman teammate.

The ball never had a chance to stay in the park, but you would never have known it by the way Ragsdale reacted.

“I didn’t even know it was out at first,” said Ragsdale. “I haven’t hit a home run in like three years, so I was pretty shocked and didn’t know what to do.”

After the home run, the Ichabods tacked on an additional three runs to lead 17-1 needing only three outs to finish off a run-rule victory.

Jake Butterfield came on in relief to get those three outs in short order to finish off a series victory.

Sunday’s win improved Washburn’s record to 14-17 overall and 8-13 in the MIAA. Washburn will be back at home on Tuesday to play a single game against Missouri Southern with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.