Washburn baseball gets top recognition by NCSA

Adrianne Lara

Washburn baseball had a great week as they received national recognition after NCSA Athletic Recruiting named the institution No.1 “Best College for Baseball in 2015″ in NCAA Division II on their website.

“This truly is a phenomenal honor for our program, Washburn University, and our alumni base.” Washburn Head coach Harley Douglas said. “This honor would not be possible without the foundation that Coach Anson created here. What an amazing honor it has been to take over for him!”

Anson dedicated over 30 years to Washburn baseball. More than 500 men played for Anson and they all have their own story of how they came to meet him and earn a spot on his team. His 867 career wins (including one year at Wayne State) ranks 25th all-time in NCAA II and second among coaches to ever coach in the MIAA.  

Douglas, in his second year as head coach led the Ichabods to a 33-20 record, while they finished in the final three of the MIAA tournament. For the first time in 15 years, the Washburn team had over 30 victories and had eight players earn All-MIAA Honors.

This season, six of the nine Washburn starters return, along with Maustin Otterstatter (4-2, 28 strikeouts), team ERA leader Mike Hefferan(2.31 ERA, 4-1 record) and eight other pitchers.

Four top hitters return as well for the Ichabods, Kyle Carnahan (.371, 10 Home runs, 53 RBI), Riley Krane (.355, 14 doubles, 70 hits) and Parker Gibson (.335, six doubles, 27 RBI) and the top power hitter, David Gauntt (16 home runs, 53 RBI).

“We return a very solid core, including six guys who were all-conference last year,” Douglas said.

“Arm-wise on the bump, we’re going to be very tough to beat, and at the plate we’ve got some great hitters who understand the game.  Our depth is going to be a big strength for us this year.”

According to Douglas, the Washburn baseball team stands out above the rest because of the vision and philosophies the program provides.

Douglas states, “We play the game the right way and take pride in not only playing for the family we are, but for the thousands of alumni that call Washburn University home.”