Baseball picks up series win over Fort Hays with balanced performance


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn Casey Steward (34) and Otto Jones (27) praises each other Feb. 27, 2022, Topeka, Kan.

a win over Fort Hays State to begin the series, Washburn baseball was back in action for the middle of three games between the two teams Feb. 27.

After falling behind early, the Ichabods recovered, scoring the final five runs of the game to secure a 6-3 game win and claim a series win to open conference play with the potential to pick up a sweep.

“It’s good, I don’t think these guys lack confidence by any means. Sometimes they forget that they are playing baseball,” said head coach Harley Douglas.

Sophomore Casey Steward started on the hill, pitching a scoreless first inning. Offensively, junior shortstop Cal Watkins tripled into center field with just one out and came home on a wild pitch to jump ahead 1-0.

The Tigers struggled to make contact with Steward’s pitching, striking out nine times in the first five innings. When they did connect, they made it count, with a home run in both the second and third innings to lead 3-1.

The Ichabods began to battle back in the fifth inning after a leadoff single by senior first baseman Brett Ingram. He was moved over to second base and brought in by junior left fielder Shane Morrow who singled into center field.

Steward recovered after the slow start, finishing with five innings pitched and only allowing the three runs.

“Casey didn’t throw bad, he just made a couple of bad pitches and got the ball in the air,” Douglas said. “I thought overall he gave us a pretty quality start. We just had to battle back.”
Senior Trevor Marreel took over in the sixth inning, throwing a scoreless frame and striking out two batters.

“Those guys have done everything that we have asked for them to do, and it’s been multiple guys. It hasn’t been the same guys over and over,” Douglas said.

Junior John Cross took over on the mound after him, pitching a scoreless seventh and eighth inning and striking out all six batters he faced.

“As a whole unit we are doing really well. We are coming in high-leverage situations, and we are shutting them down. Once we get everything put together, we are going to be a really good team,” Cross said.

In the bottom of the eighth, Washburn finally broke through, beginning with a single from senior third baseman Zion Bowlin and a walk from sophomore center fielder Connor Scott. With two outs, senior designated hitter Kros Bay singled into right field, scoring Bowlin to take the lead.

Behind him, Jones picked up his second hit of the day to score both Scott and Bowlin and double up the Tigers score at 6-3.

“We know that in certain situations it is key to go out and win the series, but early on, if you’ve got a chance to get a sweep, that’s something important that you have to try to do,” Douglas said.

Senior Joel Casillas came on in the ninth inning and allowed hits to two of the first three batters, but finished the inning with a ground ball double play to finish the game and get the save.

The win makes three in a row for the Ichabods as they move to 10-4 on the year.

The two teams will finish the series on Monday, Feb. 28 as Washburn looks for a sweep.

Edited by: Ellie Walker, Glorianna Noland