Bullpen boosts baseball to 7-5 win over Bearcats


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn senior Kros Bay (25) swings the bat April, 13, 2022, Topeka, Kansas. Bay had two hits in the game.

Baseball is a game of slumps and struggles, which is why Washburn was happy to be back in the win column with a 7-5 mid-week win over Northwest Missouri State.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game, Northwest has been playing well,” said head coach Harley Douglas. “Overall I thought our guys fought really well, early on especially and didn’t let us get that turtle in a shell look.”

The victory comes on the heels of two home losses to Central Oklahoma by a combined 17 runs. The Ichabods moved to 25-13 with the win and relied on its bullpen going five deep to throw 5 ⅔ scoreless innings to close the game.

“I thought we did a good job of coming out. We kind of lulled there in the middle, didn’t swing as well as we needed to at certain points,” Douglas said. “But they did a good job against us.”

The stand alone match with the Bearcats counted as a conference game, with Washburn moving to 15-9 in MIAA play as they get set for seven straight games on the road.

Sophomore Charlie Kiefer started on the mound with a scoreless first inning. At the plate, senior Parker Dunn walked, followed by a single from senior Brett Ingram. Junior Cal Watkins grounded out to second base, allowing Dunn to score, making it 1-0.

Hitting in the four hole sophomore Connor Scott smashed a 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two-out home run, putting Washburn up 3-0 after one.
Singles by sophomore Otto Jones and senior Kros Bay led off the second. Senior Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli grounded to shortstop with one out, but beat out the double-play, scoring Jones to make it 4-0.

Kiefer began the third with two outs but walked and hit the next two batters. With two runners on, Northwest Missouri State picked up its first hit, a single to score one run.

Junior Drew Mackie took the next pitch over the wall in right-center for a home run, tying the game at four.

Two hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Ichabods in the fourth. Junior Cale Savage hit a sacrifice fly to score one and Clark-Chiapparelli knocked in another with a single to take a 6-4 lead.

“I was seeing the ball really well … spent a lot of time on it these past couple days, just trying to figure it out and get right again,” Clark-Chiapparelli said. “When some guys aren’t swinging it well other guys step up and it’s kind of exactly what we did today.”

The bases loaded up again, this time for Ingram who grounded to shortstop but avoided the double play to score another run.

Kiefer ended his day after four and one-third innings and was replaced by sophomore Austin Gerety who entered with two runners on. He allowed a sacrifice fly but got the final two outs to keep Washburn in front 7-5.

Gerety threw a scoreless sixth inning to finish his day. Senior Trevor Marreel came on in the seventh, striking out one in another clean frame.

Senior Rane Pfeifer took over on the mound in the eighth inning, continuing the streak with a scoreless inning.

“Our pitchers had kind of lulled for a little bit and now they are starting to get their swagger back and it’s fun to see,” Douglas said “To get a chance to get those guys in there and have to come out and do their job [is important].”

The bullpen effort helped pick up an Ichabod offense that managed only one hit after the fourth inning.

“Our pitching staff did really well coming in and shutting them down along with our defense,” Clark-Chiapparelli said.

Senior Joel Casillas began the ninth inning, allowing three hits and recording two outs. Senior Dalton Huggins came on to strike out the final batter, ending the game and securing the win.

Gerety moved to 3-0 on the year after earning the win, while Huggins notched his third save. At the plate Clark-Chiapparelli and Bay each had multi-hit games while Scott added two RBIs.

“I think our guys are ready to go, and it’s Emporia, so I would hope they are because Emporia is fighting hard and playing well right now,” Douglas said.

Washburn will begin its road trip with a three-game series with the Hornets beginning Thursday at 6 p.m.

Edited by: Glorianna Noland, Simran Shrestha