Bullpen closes door for baseball in series clinching win over Wolves


Kyle Manthe

Washburn shakes hands on the field after winning the final game of the series Feb. 21, 2022. Washburn defeated Northern State 7-3 in the game.

After splitting the doubleheader the day before, Washburn baseball was back in action Monday, Feb. 21 to finish its home opening series against Northern State University.

Timely hitting and a dominant bullpen performance would push the Ichabods to a 7-3 win as they took the series against the Wolves three games to one.

“It was a long day yesterday, and for us to bounce back and get ourselves to where we needed to be to win, it’s a testament to these guys and what they do,” said head coach Harley Douglas.
The win moved Washburn to 8-4 on the year as they get set for conference play.

After a scoreless first inning on the mound from junior Charlie Kiefer, the Ichabods offense got going early. Hitting from the second spot, senior second baseman Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli took the first pitch he saw and sent it over the left-center field fence for a home run and a 1-0 lead.

“All weekend I feel like I saw the ball well… I thought everyone swung (the bat) pretty well this weekend,” Clark-Chiapparelli said.

The Wolves went to small ball in the second inning, utilizing an error and moving runners over to get two runs across and take the lead.

In the bottom of the second, senior third baseman Zion Bowlin led off with a single and was moved over to third with just one out. Junior designated hitter Cale Savage came up next and drove Bowlin in with a simple ground ball to the left side to tie the game.

Sophomore second baseman Otto Jones tacked on another run with a high arching double that landed just inside the right field line, scoring senior catcher Kros Bay and giving Washburn a 3-2 lead.

Each team added a run in the third, with Northern State picking up two hits to bring across one. For the Ichabods, Clark-Chiapparelli scored his second run after being hit by a pitch, stealing second base and scoring from thereon a sacrifice fly from junior first baseman Brett Ingram.

Keifer would finish his four innings of work allowing only the two runs and picking up three strikeouts before handing the ball off to junior John Cross, who threw scoreless fifth and sixth innings.

Washburn kept adding to its lead as the game moved into the middle innings. Clark-Chiapparelli and sophomore center fielder Connor Scott each got on base and were driven in after senior right fielder Parker Dunn lined a double into right field to score both.

“Timely hits have been the biggest thing for us I think. If our pitchers continue to do what they have been doing and guiding the way for us and leading the way, it is great for us as hitters,” Clark-Chiapparelli said.

After Cross exited, sophomore Julian Zamora took over and replicated Cross’ performance with two shutout innings himself, striking out two and facing only seven hitters.

The Ichabods added further insurance in the eighth inning when Ingram made a heads-up play to score on a dropped third strike to make it a 7-3 ballgame. That is how the score would stay after senior Dalton Huggins worked a perfect top of the ninth inning, striking out all three batters to close the game.

“We feel our bullpen is as good as any in the country, so to have those guys and have Huggy back there on the backside, and Julian was really good today, and John Cross is starting to get healthy… it was good to see that today,” Douglas said.

Clark-Chiapparelli led the way with three runs and one RBI, while Dunn added two RBIs on his one hit. Cross, Zamora and Huggins combined for five scoreless innings and seven strikeouts to finish the game.

Washburn will face Fort Hays State in a three-game series beginning Saturday, Feb. 26.

Edited by Justin Shepard, Ellie Walker