Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn Baseball Opens Douglas Era with Doubleheader Sweep

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn Baseball Opens Douglas Era with Doubleheader Sweep

Article excerpt

For the past few days, Harley Douglas could sense the eagerness of his players to hit the field and start a new era for the Washburn baseball program.

Still, Douglas couldn't help but be impressed with just how fired up the Ichabods were in the first inning of Friday's season opener against Bemidji State.

After brushing aside the Beavers in order in the top of the first, Washburn exploded for 10 runs and seven hits in the bottom of the inning, setting the tone for a doubleheader sweep with wins of 20-4 and 5-1 at Falley Field.

Washburn had 14 plate appearances in the first inning of the opener, making just one out against Bemidji State starter Jesse Katz before chasing him from the game.

"I knew we were a hungry group, I just didn't realize we were that hungry," Douglas said.

The Ichabods started the huge inning with a little small ball. Leadoff man Parker Gibson stole second after being hit by a pitch before Riley Krane and Kyle Carnahan each reached base on bunts to bring home Gibson.

WU catcher David Gauntt then hit a three-run homer and the Ichabods continued to pour it on against the Beavers, who were hurt by three errors in the first inning.

"We want to play fast and we want to put the pressure on the other team," Douglas said. "We're really trying to steal some bags, move runners over, get some guys in scoring position early, and then be able to come through with those clutch hits."

Washburn certainly thrived in the clutch during the first game, finishing with 18 hits.

"We were full of enthusiasm today," said Gibson, Washburn's center fielder. "We came out firing and expecting to play as well as we can."

WU sophomore Maustin Otterstatter gave up a run on five hits in five innings of work to earn the win in the opener before junior Mike Hefferan picked up the victory in the second game, also giving up just a run on three hits. …

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