Courtesy: Washburn Athletics
TOPEKA, Kan. – No. 30 Washburn Baseball fell to No. 16 Central Missouri in 10 innings, 3-2, in the series opener on Friday, May 6 at Falley Field.
WU (31-16, 26-11 MIAA) had eight hits in the game but stranded 10, unable to hold off a UCM (32-12, 30-7 MIAA) attack that had 12 hits on the day.
Nick Silva went 8.2 innings in the start, striking out six with two runs allowed on 10 hits, exiting in the ninth with a runner on second. Jaren Kutzke (2-4) took the loss, throwing 0.2 innings with one run allowed. Greg Mason pitched the final 0.2 frames, getting a strikeout and walking one.
Offensively, Kyle Carnahan was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a double, while David Gauntt was 2-for-3 with two walks and a double.
Parker Gibson led off the game with an infield single off a chopper to shortstop, racing down the line to beat the throw before stealing second. Later in the inning with one out, Carnahan ripped a ground ball down the left field line, where the sun and a tough bounce kept the ball out of the glove of UCM’s third baseman for an RBI double, scoring Gibson.
WU found itself in trouble in the second after UCM loaded the bases with no outs before Silva and the Ichabod defense locked down to get out of the jam without allowing a run. UCM’s Jackson Schnurbusch flied out to right field for a sacrifice fly attempt, but Bowe Behymer caught it stride and fired the ball to the plate to catch Derek Cornell sliding into home. Silva induced a ground ball in the next at-bat to escape the inning.
In the third, UCM struck back with a solo home run to tie it at 1-all, but heads-up baserunning from the Ichabods helped WU regain the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the inning. With two outs in the inning, Carnahan took an 0-1 pitch hard up the middle to reach base before Gauntt blooped a single into left field as Carnahan took off from first. The ball was mishandled in left field as Carnahan reached third, and the Ichabods’ third baseman dashed home for WU’s second run of the day.
WU threatened with runners in scoring position in the fourth and fifth, but couldn’t push a runner home and UCM tied it with a run in the sixth, 2-2.
The teams traded scoring chances in the bottom of the eighth and top of ninth, but things stayed square through nine and the teams headed for extras.
In the top of the 10th, UCM loaded the bases with one out before Mason entered in relief, and after a strikeout a walk helped the Mules grab a 3-2 lead.
Down to its last chance, Washburn put runners on first and second with two outs after a Gauntt double and a Lance Barkley walk, but couldn’t extend the game or come up with a walk-off winner.
UCM wrapped up the regular season MIAA Championship with the win and clinched the No. 1 seed. Washburn remains in the hunt for the No. 2 seed, and will look to continue its streak of series wins with victories in the final two games of the weekend.
The series continues on Saturday, May 7 with a 4 p.m. start on Military Appreciation Day. The Ichabods will wear special uniforms to commemorate the day, with a ceremonial first pitch schedule pregame.