Bats falter as baseball falls in series finale against Griffons


Kohichiro Yamada

Cale Savage (21) impacts the ball on March 27, 2022, in Topeka, Kansas. Savage had one walk in the game.

With a series win in-hand, Washburn baseball looked for a series sweep over Missouri Western State to extend its winning streak to five games March 27.

The Ichabods were never able to recover from a slow start offensively, falling down 4-0 before ultimately losing 6-4 in the series’ final game.

“In the last couple of weeks we have done a good job of driving guys home when we have gotten the opportunity but, when you leave 15 guys on base (it’s hard to win),” said head coach Harley Douglas. “Give them some props, they did a good job of pitching to us.”

Washburn fell to 12-4 in MIAA play after the loss as they tried to keep pace with teams at the top of the conference.

“It was a disappointing end to it, not being able to scratch up some better at bats to make that happen,” Douglas said. “I talked to them in the huddle there and said you can’t let this one fester on you … that’s where our focus has got to be.”

Senior Dalton Huggins got his first start of the year for Washburn and he responded with a scoreless first two innings, striking out four.

Offensively, the Ichabods collected four hits over the first three innings, but left all four on base as the game remained scoreless.

The first run of the game came in the top of the fourth inning off the bat of Missouri Western State; senior Alex Crouch who hit his second home run in as many days, putting the Griffons up 1-0.

Washburn loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to a couple of walks but were unable to bring home a run.

A bunt single began the next inning for Missouri Western State and after being moved to second base they were able to bring the run home on a soft single into center field, making it a 2-0 game.

That hit was followed with another single and both baserunners were brought home on a two out double extending the lead to four.

A one-out single from senior left fielder Parker Dunn got the Ichabods started in the fifth. After being moved to second on a single from senior designated hitter Brett Ingram, Dunn was able to score on a throwing error in the field.

Ingram advanced to third base on the play and was brought home on a sacrifice fly from sophomore center fielder Connor Scott. Senior catcher Kros Bay was the next batter and he beat out an infield single, allowing senior third baseman Zion Bowlin, who stole second, to score on the throw.

Freshman left fielder Trevor McCollum kept the momentum going, with a triple into the right field corner, tying the game at four where the score would stay.

After the big fifth inning, senior Joel Casillas took over pitching responsibilities and turned in one scoreless inning, striking out one.

Junior John Cross came out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh inning and walked two batters, but struck out one and kept the game tied at four.

Washburn got two more on base in the seventh inning, but could not bring them home, which brought the total left on base to 11 after seven frames.

“I think what happened was we’ve been playing on the road and even the first two days here, the wind is blowing out and things are going and we were counting on the big hits that could fly out of the ballpark and change games and it didn’t happen,” Douglas said.

Cross stayed strong in the eighth inning to set the Ichabods up to bat in the bottom of the frame.

Senior second baseman Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli led off the inning with a single and went to second on another single by Dunn. Ingram followed with a single of his own but Clark-Chiapparelli was ruled out at home after a close play, keeping the game tied.

In the top of the ninth, the Griffons strung together a walk and two hits to take the lead. The next two hitters walked, extending the lead to two. Freshman Jake Schroeder came on to pitch, facing one batter who he struck out to end the inning.

Washburn got two more runners on in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to bring them around as they fell for the first time in the series, 6-4.

“We got to get back to what our standard is,” Douglas said. “We got to get back to how we play here.”

Huggins struck out a team-high eight batters in five innings of work for his first career start as an Ichabod. Clark-Chiapparelli led the team with three hits while six players had multi-hit games.

Washburn drops to 21-8 with the loss as they get ready for a one-game road matchup with Northwest Missouri State March 29.

Edited by: Alyssa Storm, Simran Shrestha