TSN MVP

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Despite a rash of injuries, most notably in its pitching staff, the Washburn University baseball team has been able to avoid any lengthy losing skids, with the Ichabods losing no more than two games in a row since mid-February.

JettBuckBASEBALLRogersState 1Washburn shortstop Jett Buck salutes the Ichabod bench while rounding the bases on his sixth home run of the season. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

JettBuckBASEBALLRogersState 2Jett Buck (16) went 3 fof 3 with four RBI in Washburn's 15-7 MIAA win over Rogers State Saturday at Falley Field. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

But the Ichabods have also struggled to put together any prolonged hot streaks, with WU winning no more than two straight games over its past 11 contests.

Needing a big end to the regular season to help its MIAA Tournament seeding and its shot at an NCAA Regional berth, Washburn coach Harley Douglas is hopeful that Saturday's offensive explosion at Falley Field is the start of a finishing flourish.

Washburn scored four runs in the first inning and tallied 16 hits in the game to top Rogers State 15-7 in the rubber match of the series, with the Ichabods improving to 18-14 overall and 12-8 in the MIAA.

"We have four or five arms (pitchers) that are 88 to 91 (mile per hour) guys that have went down on us and when you get that you've got to get the next guys to step up and I think some of them had to step up earlier than what they anticipated or earlier than they were ready so it was kind of a tough one for them,'' Douglas said.

"But we're finally starting to figure it out. We didn't allow a lot of runs this weekend and we did a really good job of executing and pitching the way we needed to and when you can do that it's going to give you a chance in any game.''

Now the key for the Ichabods is to continue to make strides.

"I like where we're at right now,'' Douglas said. "I think we can make a run because we have teams that are below us that we need to take care of business against and we need to.

"We feel pretty comfortable with where we're at conference-wise but we'd like to host our first-round tournament setup and then we would obviously like to be in the regional conversation and to do that you've got to get to 30 wins, you've got to be one of the top three or four teams in this conference. That's something that's important to us.''

The Hillcats (17-14 overall, 9-11 MIAA) jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning, but Washburn answered with a four-run bottom of the first and never trailed again.

Cale Savage tripled off the wall in straightaway center to score Payton McHarg, who got hit by a pitch to lead off the game.

Cash Jay followed with a double off the wall in right field to tie the game and Jett Buck put the Ichabods in front with a home-run blast down the right-field line to cap the Ichabods' four-run first.  

HaydenPriestBASEBALLRogersState 1Washburn catcher Hayden Priest is plunked with a pitch in Saturday's 15-7 MIAA win over Rogers State. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

In the third inning Washburn loaded the bases with a single, walk and hit batter before adding to its lead on a sacrifice fly from Buck.  

In the fourth inning Grant Jones led off the inning with the second triple of the day for the Ichabods.

He was driven home on a sacrifice fly into right field by Teagan Tamiya to put the Ichabods in front by four runs.  

After the first inning Washburn starting pitcher Chase Torkelson settled in on the mound, throwing three straight scoreless innings and holding the Hillcats hitless in that span.

After a one-out walk Rogers State got a single to put two on in the fifth. They were able to cut the Washburn lead to one run with a three-run homer to right field from Joel Escalante.  

Tamiya led off the home half of the fifth with a single and the bases were loaded after Otto Jones and McHarg walked before Savage snuck a single through the left side of the infield, scoring two.

One batter later Buck hit it in the same spot, scoring McHarg to make it 9-5 after five innings.  

Fidel Hatch took over on the mound for Washburn in the sixth and was able to hold the lead as the Hillcats scored one run on one hit with an RBI groundout.

In the bottom of the inning the Ichabods got the run back and then some with back-to-back home runs from Jones and McHarg as the order was turned over to make it an 11-6 game.  

Neither side scored in the seventh and Rogers State was held in check in the eighth. In the bottom of the inning Washburn added to its lead with Savage singling to score Jones.

 Pinch-hitter Trey Adams singled into right field, scoring McHarg, who was hit by a pitch to reach base.

Cal Watkins followed with a second straight single to bring one more run in and another run scored on a balk to push the lead up to nine after eight.  

Jayden Payne took over on the mound in the ninth for Washburn and the Hillcats got one run across before Kai Bennett was able to finish the game off with the final two outs to secure the series victory.  

Washburn got three each from McHarg, Savage and Buck 

Savage and Buck combined to drive in eight runs with four each and McHarg reached base in all six appearances.  

On the mound the Ichabods tallied seven strikeouts while allowing six hits and walking six as well.

Torkelson picked up the win, going five innings and striking out six to move to 4-0 on the season.  

The Ichabods take on Rockhurst in Kansas City, Mo. on Tuesday at 3 p.m.  

WASHBURN 15, ROGERS STATE 7

Rogers State 200 031 001 --   7 6 0

Washburn     411 032 04x -- 15 16 1

Spry, Anderson (2), Tocheniuk (5), De Leon (5), Grisham (7) and Delgado. Torkelson, Hatch (6), Payne (9), Bennett (9) and Priest. W -- Torkelson (4-0). L -- Spry (1-3). 2B -- Washburn: Jay, Buck. 3B -- Washburn: Savage, Jones. HR -- Rogers State: Escalante. Washburn: McHarg, Buck, Jones. 

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