Washburn splits series, heading to tournament

Adrianne Lara

The Ichabods split their last regular season doubleheader on Saturday against Nebraska-Kearney.

Washburn struggled in the first three innings of game one as UNK took a 5-0 led with a triple RBI home run in the first inning and a double RBI in the second.

Washburn started their comeback in the fourth with runs from Corey Gragg who scored off of Tanner Johnson’s home run. WU took control of the game putting 2 more runs on the board after David Gauntt homered to right field followed by an RBI score from Cole Gardner.

The Ichabods scored another two runs in the bottom of the seventh as Parker Gibson made advances to third and was sent home by Kyle Carnahan’s two-run walk-off home run, ending the game with a 6-5 win for Washburn.

Dan Gabler walked away pitching 5 strikeouts followed by Hank Wellborn’s 3-inning shutout finish.

Game 2 ended with a doubleheader split for the Ichabods. Riley Krane started off the bottom of the first with a solid left field home run.

But Washburn lost their lead in a rough third inning with Eric Schmid on the mound pitching a 2-run double, two loaded walk, and an error that would give UNK a 4-run advantage.

The Ichabods would score once more in the sixth with Carnahan’s second home run in the doubleheader and one last time with a home run to right field from Dylan Turpin.

Wellborn, Greg Mason and Ryne Dowling each pitched an inning after Tanner Kilmer relief for Schmid.

Washburn scored all three runs through home runs, but UNK took home the 5-3 win.

The Ichabods will take on the No. 4 seed Missouri Western (29-19, 22-14 MIAA) as they begin the first round of MIAA Tournament play on Thursday, April 30 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Washburn secured the fifth seed in the tournament after being tied for fourth.

“I’m really excited for the conference tournament,” said  pitcher Reed Morton. It’s the playoffs and anything can happen. It adds a special element to the game and with the top teams contending for a Regional bid, we expect nothing less than every game to be an outright dog fight, no matter who we play.”

Washburn will enter the tournament with a 30-18, 22-14 MIAA record.