Pitching helps give Ichabods series edge

The Washburn baseball team (10-8 overall, 5-4 MIAA) faced a tough Northwest Missouri State squad over three days starting on Thursday, at Falley Field. Gaining the edge in the three game series 2-1, the Bods put themselves at (4-2) against Missouri teams this season. Dropping the first game 10-12, Washburn managed to turn the momentum around holding on for the 3-0 shutout win on Friday, while dominating Saturday 9-2 to go along with a no-hit bid through six innings.

On Friday WU fell 10-12 in a game that featured eight more Bearcat hits and seven total errors by both teams, three of them being committed by the Ichabods. Washburn struck first in the bottom half of the second when Wes Jones single scored two runs. In the top of the third NMSU would take the lead 3-2. In the bottom of the frame the Bods scored two unearned runs with David Gauntt and Kyle Carnahan, getting the lead back 4-3. With the score tied through five, Washburn scored three straight runs before the Bearcats finally put one run up in the sixth. The Ichabods would take a three run lead into the seventh after Payton Soicher scored off a wild pitch. This is when the game got interesting as Northwestern Missouri scored five straight runs of their own claiming the Bearcat lead back to 10-8. However two big RBI singles by Jones and Carnahan of Washburn tied the game back up 10-10, sending the game into extra innings for only the second time this season for the Bods. NMSU would seal the ball game 12-10 in 11 innings scoring two runs.

Game two featured a game of pitching dominance and agressive baserunning from Washburn. Pitcher Nick Silva threw 7.2 shutout innings, allowing seven hits and striking out seven to lead the WU to a tight 3-0 win. Parker Gibson would put the Ichabods up early in the first scampering home after Kyle Carnahan would get caught stealing at second. In the fourth inning, Carnahan would score on a throwing error by the Bearcats pushing the Washburn lead to 2-0. Zane Mapes’ single in the fifth]allowed for Washburn’s final run of the game as he scored off another throwing error committed by Northwestern Missouri. Closer Jacob Head earned his first save of the year sealing the victory 3-0 for the Ichabods.

The final day consisted of another dominant pitching performance by Washburn, as pitcher Mike Hefferan took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, allowing only three hits, four strikeouts, and zero runs in 7.2 innings of work. Northwestern State would have no chance as the WU offense offered good run support for the Ichabod pitching staff. They would only score in the first five innings but it would be enough to earn their 10th victory of the season. Riley Kranes RBI double would help Washburn strike first again for the third straight game, scoring Parker Gibson. Lance Barkley’s sac-fly and David Gauntt’s double would add two more runs in the same inning to make it 3-0. The next inning seemed the same with three more runs in the next inning for the Ichabods to increase their lead to 6-0, highlighted by Guantt’s 2-run blast. Wes Jones scored the seventh Ichabod run off of Gibson’s one out single in the third. Cole Gardner’s single along with Payton Soichers 2-run shot in the fifth helped push the Bods to a comfortable 9-0 lead and would be the last time they score. The Bearcats would score only two runs in the top of the ninth and Washburn would take game three 9-2.

WU will face William Jewell College for a non-conference matchup on Wednesday March 16 in Liberty, Mo. It will be the second time in seven days, with the Ichabods taking the first game 5-4.