Washburn baseball splits slugfest with Fort Hays St.

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COURTESY: Washburn Sports Information

TOPEKA, Kan. — Washburn and Fort Hays State combined for 43 runs Thursday at Falley Field as the two teams split a doubleheader. The Ichabods took the opener, 7-4 and then fell in the closing game, 18-14.

Washburn moved to 7-24 overall and 7-23 in the MIAA. The win in the first game broke a four-game losing streak and was Washburn’s first victory at Falley Field since February 17 in the season-opening series against Truman.

Washburn batted .375 in the two games while the Tigers batted .387 with a .720 slugging percentage. They hit five home runs, two triples and six doubles. Jay Sanders hit for the cycle for FHSU in the second game.

Connor Crimmins had a two-run double and Riley Price had a two-run single as part of a five-run second inning for Washburn in the opener. Corey Gragg then had a two-run double in the third and Washburn led 7-0.

Taylor Gentry started for Washburn and kept the Tigers scoreless until the fifth inning. He allowed a run then and two in the sixth as he improved to 3-0 on the year. He struck out six and walked just two.

Washburn took a brief 3-2 lead in the second game with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. David Gauntt had an RBI triple and Crimmins drove in a run with an infield single.

The Ichabods ended up with three triples in the second game, tying a school record and the Ichabods extended their MIAA lead, now with 16 triples on the year. Washburn last had three triples in a game in 2007 against Bemidji State.

The Tigers (20-15, 16-14 MIAA) answered with five runs in the top of the third that forced Washburn starter Eric Schmid out of the game. Schmid made the first start of his three-year career and fell to 0-1 on the year. He allowed six runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Fort Hays State kept building on its lead and scored in every inning but the ninth. Four runs in the eighth for the Tigers gave them an 18-6 lead that would have invoked the run-rule. Washburn stayed alive by scoring three in the bottom of the eighth.

The Ichabods loaded the bases to start the eighth and then Price and Alberts had RBI hits. Taylor Herrington later scored on a double play to pull Washburn within nine runs.

Fort Hays State later walked the first three batters of the ninth inning and the Ichabods ended up scoring five runs on two hits and an error but the Tigers closed out the game.

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