Washburn’s baseball team started its season Friday, Feb. 13, at home against Bemidji State. It was the start of a new era as this was Harley Douglas’ first game as the head coach – the first time the Washburn baseball had a new head coach in more than 30 years.
For Washburn, the first inning was about as good of a start to a season as any coach could ask for. During the bottom of the first, Parker Gibson led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and then used his speed to steal second base.
Riley Krane then bunted for a base hit and advanced Gibson to third base. Kyle Carnahan then followed that up with another bunt and an error by the BSU pitcher gave Washburn their first run of the season with two runners still on base.
The next batter was David Gauntt, and in his first at bat of the season he cranked a three-run home run to deep left center field.
It was now 4-0 and the Ichabods were just getting started. Later in the inning Tanner Triggs had an RBI double that scored Connor Crimmins. In each of their second at bats of the first inning, Gibson, Krane and Kyle Carnahan hit a combined 4 RBIs.
After several hits by Washburn, three errors and a pitching change by BSU, the Ichabods were off to a quick 10-0 start in the first inning.
Sophomore pitcher Maustin Otterstatter got the start on the mound for Washburn. He threw five solid innings and only gave up 3 hits, 1 run, and struck out 5 batters. Otterstatter received help from his defense including a 6-4-3 double play to end the fourth inning. He did not give BSU many opportunities to score, but he gave up a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Dan Gabler came in relief and pitched the sixth and seventh innings. In two innings he gave up three runs, but only two of them were earned. He recorded one strike out and did not allow a walk.
Spencer Schwandt threw in the eighth inning and looked comfortable and confident. He struck out all three batters he faced.
To close out the game, Reed Morton threw the ninth inning and got three consecutive outs including one strikeout.
Washburn ended up winning their first game 20-4. With 20 runs scored and 18 hits, the Ichabods showed off their offensive power and got off to a solid start to their season.
Washburn baseball team will face Southwest Baptist in their first conference game Friday, Feb. 20.