Baseball wilted by walks in loss to Central Oklahoma


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn junior Cal Watkins (1) throws a ball to the first-base April 9, 2022, Topeka, Kansas. Watkins had two hits in the game.

Washburn baseball’s 12-3 loss to Central Oklahoma April 9 was not technically a free win for the Bronchos, but the nine walks, two hit batters and six errors by the Ichabods made it appear that way.

“When it rains it pours with us I guess, we don’t shut it off very well,” said head coach Harley Douglas. “When things aren’t kind of going the way we want them to we kind of lose focus and that is what we talked about.”

Central Oklahoma’s 12 runs came on only one extra-base hit while Washburn’s bats had a rare off day, managing only seven hits in game two of the series. The slow day at the plate is not where Douglas’ concerns lie.

“Our body of work hitting wise speaks for itself. I didn’t think we took very good approaches today,” Douglas said. “They (UCO) handled our guys pretty well.”

After the loss Washburn only leads Central Oklahoma by one game in the MIAA standings, as they drop to 14-8 in conference play.

The first inning was scoreless for both teams with sophomore Jack Brimacombe on the mound for the Ichabods. A single led off the second inning for the Bronchos, two wild pitches and a balk on Brimacombe gave Central Oklahoma a 1-0 lead.

Three walks loaded the bases for the Bronchos top of the order who singled to drive in two more runs and make it 3-0 after an inning and a half.

At the plate Washburn stayed quiet, managing only one hit through the first three innings, scoring no runs.

Central Oklahoma senior Zac Freeman walked with two outs in the fourth inning, stole second base and was able to score on an error in the field on the throw down to second, making it a 4-0 game.

“Early on Brim (Brimacombe) had some control issues … and then it just kind of went downhill from there,” Douglas said. “We just didn’t give ourselves a chance at all to get back into the game.”

Brimacombe recorded one out in the fifth inning and left one runner on base before being replaced by senior Dalton Huggins on the mound. Huggins picked off the runner and retired the batter to get out of the inning scoreless.

Back-to-back walks in the fifth inning put runners on base for senior designated hitter Parker Dunn, who came through with a two-out single to put the Ichabods on the board, trailing 4-1 after five innings.

Two of the first three hitters reached base for the Bronchos to begin the sixth inning, one via hit and one on an error. A stolen base put both in scoring position for sophomore Seth Gray to drive in both with a single. Only one run was charged to Huggins as Central Oklahoma moved ahead 6-1.

A walk put another runner on before both attempted a double steal with two outs. An error on the throw down to second allowed the lead runner to score the seventh run of the game for the Bronchos.

“Baseball is kind of like a relationship where early on it’s exciting,” Douglas said. “In order to keep things going you have to have those little things that pay off and we didn’t do the little things right.”

The next batter was walked and picked off of first base but in the process the runner on third was able to score and make it 8-1 after six.

Junior Braden Babcock took over on the mound in the seventh inning. A hit, error and fielder’s choice put two runners on, a double by Gray scored one run to make the deficit eight runs.

Babcock allowed a run in the eighth inning on two hits and a walk before being replaced by freshman Jake Schroeder, who struck out the final two hitters in the inning.

The Ichabods got two on base in the bottom of the inning but were unable to score. Senior Britt Brown took over pitching duties to begin the ninth inning and left with two outs and a runner on third base.

Senior Zach Philbin came on and hit the first batter he faced, the next grounded to shortstop but was mishandled and got through the infield, allowing two runs to score. Washburn was able to get out of the inning on the play, throwing out the runner as they attempted to get to second base.

The Ichabods got a pair of walks in the bottom of the ninth, which were both driven home by Dunn, giving him all three RBI for Washburn. That would wrap up the scoring with the Bronchos claiming the 12-3 win.

“I’ll be interested to see how we come out tomorrow,” Douglas said. “I think we need to flush some stuff and get home.”

Brimacombe took the loss, falling to 2-2 on the year while the Ichabods drop to 24-12 on the year.

The rubber match between the two teams will take place Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m.

Edited by: Glorianna Noland, Alyssa Storm