By Rick Peterson

Washburn baseball finished out the 2023 regular season with a 6-4 victory to clinch the series win at Pittsburg State on Sunday afternoon.

RanePfeiferRane Pfeifer picked up the pitching win as Washburn earned the No. 3 seed for the MIAA Tournament with a 6-4 win over Pittsburg State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

With the win the Ichabods claimed the tiebreaker over the Gorillas in the conference standings to earn the No. 3 seed in the MIAA Tournament and will host a best-of-three first- round series next weekend against No. 6 seed Northeastern State.
The Ichabods (29-20 overall, 21-12 MIAA) scored four runs with two outs in the opening inning and forced Pittsburg State to make a pitching change after facing eight batters.

Hayden product Andrew Schmidtlein led off the game with a single up the middle and a single from Ike Book and then a walk to Cal Watkins loaded the bases.

With two outs Easton Bruce drew a walk to bring in a run.

Up next was Blake Scott, who sent the first pitch he saw up the middle for a two-run single. Washburn finished its scoring in the inning with an unearned run after a fielding error by Pittsburg State.
Washburn starter Rane Pfeifer left a pair of runners stranded in the bottom of the first and then retired the side in order in the second inning, needing only six pitches.

The Gorillas (31-17, 21-12) got their first hits of the game in the third inning, using back-to-back doubles to score their first run.

Pfeifer mitigated the damage and left two runners stranded after getting a strikeout and a flyout.
Pittsburg State pulled within one at 4-3 an inning later after a pair of walks came around to score on a double.
The Ichabods got those runs back in the top of the fifth.

Schmidtlein hit another leadoff single and moved up to third on Cale Savage's double. Book singled through the left side to bring in a run and Watkins' sacrifice fly pushed the Washburn lead to 6-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Gorillas hit a leadoff home run to trim the deficit to 6-4.
Still trailing by two in the bottom of the ninth, Pittsburg State got its leadoff man on with a walk but Washburn's Chase Torkelson ended any chance of a rally with a strikeout and then a strike- him-out, throw-him-out to end the game.
The Ichabods landed one more hit than the Gorillas, 7-6.

Schmidtlein reached base three times and was 2-4 with a walk and scored twice. Book also went 2-4 and scored once with an RBI.
Pfeifer improved to 4-2 after going 62/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out eight.

Torkelson threw two scoreless innings to earn his third save of the spring.

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