Washburn hangs 14 runs to complete sweep of UNK

KEARNEY, Neb. (WU Athletics) – The Ichabod Baseball team racked up a season-high 21 hits and completed its first MIAA series sweep of the season with a 14-7 win on Sunday, April 3.

Washburn (18-12, 13-7 MIAA) was impressive all weekend, racking up 52 hits including 11 home runs, eight doubles and two triples while the pitching staff combined for 22 strikeouts.

Dan Gabler took the start and threw 3.1 innings with six runs allowed (five unearned), striking out four before exiting in the fourth as Jaren Kutzke (2-1) entered in relief and earned the win. Kutzke gave up one run with seven strikeouts over the next 3.1 innings, as Greg Mason closed the seventh with a strikeout and pitched the eighth in scoreless action. Lance Barkley pitched the ninth and did not allow a run, getting out of a bases loaded jam late to secure the win.

Barkley went 4-for-5 on the day at the plate with a double, while Riley Krane (double, triple), David Gauntt (home run, two-RBI) and Zane Mapes (two RBI, double) all had three hits. Kyle Carnahan (two RBI), Tanner Triggs (three RBI) and Payton Soicher (two RBI) also had home runs for the Ichabods.

Barkley opened the second with double down the left line, and later in the inning with two outs Mapes gave the Ichabods a 1-0 lead with an RBI single into left field.

The Ichabods tacked on one more in the third using a similar route, as Krane hit the first pitch of the inning into right center for a double of his own and later came home as Gauntt singled into left with one out.

UNK got two back in the third, but WU answered back quickly with five more to take a 7-2 lead in the fourth. With one out, Parker Gibson was hit by a pitch and Krane followed with his fourth triple of the season to drive Gibson home for WU’s third run of the day. In the next at-bat, Carnahan hit his third home run of the weekend (and fourth in five games) for a two-run shot that made it 5-2. Later in the inning with two outs, Barkley singled to center and Triggs hit WU’s second home run of the inning, pushing WU’s lead to five (7-2).

The five-run lead disappeared in the bottom of the fourth, however, as UNK used three hits, a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch to re-tie the game at 7-all before WU continued the slugfest with a two-run home run in the fifth from Soicher. Mapes started the inning with a double to left center and Soicher followed by taking the first pitch he saw over the right center wall.

Three more Ichabod runs put the lead back at five in the sixth (12-7). After back-to-back singles from Gauntt and Barkley, a double steal attempt put Barkley on second with one out before Triggs singled to right center to score Barkley. Bowe Behymer and Mapes strung together back-to-back singles as Triggs scored, and after a fielder’s choice saw Soicher reached, an overthrow at second base on a steal attempt allowed Behymer to come home on an unearned run.

After a pair of scoreless innings between the teams, WU added two more behind Gauntt’s two-run home run (and fourth home run in four games) scored Carnahan, who singled in the previous at-bat, pushing WU’s lead to 14-7.

Washburn returns to Falley Field this Tuesday, April 5 to host Fort Hays State in its midweek series finale against the Tigers. First pitch is 4 p.m., with the series tied 1-1 entering the decisive matchup.

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