Ichabods fall in rubber match versus Northeastern State University

Good hit: Second baseman Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli sends a pitch from Northeastern State University into center field.

After winning the first game of the doubleheader the Washburn University Men’s baseball team was looking for a perfect day as the second game began. A win would also give them a series victory over Northeastern State University and improve their record to 7-9.

With two games in a day, it can sometimes be a challenge to have enough fresh pitchers for both games. The Ichabods were in a good position after the strong start from senior pitcher Brock Gilliam to open the first game.

“It helps save arms for the next game, we got some bullpen guys that need to save some bullets for the next game so it helps a lot,” said Gilliam about his mindset and how his start impacts the rest of the day.

Both teams could not collect a hit in the first inning and it was the RiverHawks who got the scoring started in the top of the second inning with a walk, hit-and-run single and a sacrifice fly off senior starting pitcher Sean McElwee.

McElwee was getting Northeastern State to miss, racking up four strikeouts in the first three innings, but after a hit batter and walk, the RiverHawks picked up another run in the third.

On offense, Washburn had their hands full with Northeastern State pitcher Nic Swanson, who entered the day with a .40 earned run average over 22 and third innings. Through four innings only senior shortstop Xavier De Leon could reach base, by way of a double in the fourth inning.

McElwee continued to pitch well, holding Northeastern State scoreless for four straight innings after allowing runs in the second and third, he just was not receiving any run support to help him out.

That support started to come in the bottom of the seventh, courtesy sophomore third baseman Brett Ingram. Leading off the inning Ingram hit a towering shot over the left-field fence for a home run that cut the lead in half. Senior first baseman Eric Hinostroza followed it up with a double, but they were unable to bring him home as the game moved into the eighth inning 2-1.

After a quick top of the eighth from McElwee, the Ichabods threatened to score in the bottom of the inning. Senior infielder Carson Sader came up with a clutch pinch-hit single and advanced over to third.

With two outs a ground ball from Hinestroza would have scored Sader to tie the game if Hinestroza had not been called out at first base on a call that received a unanimous objection from Washburn. In particular, it was Head coach Harley Douglas who the umpires knew about his frustration and was almost ejected after the play.

In the top of the ninth after over 100 pitches, the RiverHawks were finally able to get to McElwee once again, picking up two hits and scoring a run before McElwee exited the game after eight and a third innings pitched. A second run in the inning was changed to McElwee after he left, and an additional Northeastern State runner scored, making the score 5-1 going into the bottom of the ninth.

The Ichabods went out quietly in the bottom of the ninth as the game ended 5-1 and Northeastern State left with a 2-1 series victory. The Ichabods returned at Falley Field on March 24 for a one-game matchup against Northwest Missouri State University.

Edited by: Crystal Hendrix, Katrina Johnson, Matthew L. Self