Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Nick Silva, Washburn Baseball Battles to 8-4 Win over Northeastern State in MIAA Tournament Opener

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Nick Silva, Washburn Baseball Battles to 8-4 Win over Northeastern State in MIAA Tournament Opener

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Nick Silva's first start after officially being named MIAA pitcher of the year wasn't going as smooth as the Washburn ace had hoped.

Northeastern State was putting up a flurry of hits Thursday morning in the first game of the MIAA Tournament, boosting the RiverHawks to a 3-0 lead over Silva and the Ichabods.

"They hit my good pitches, they hit my bad pitches," Silva said. "I just tried not to give up runs."

Despite allowing 14 hits, Silva succeeded in avoiding the big inning, keeping the RiverHawks in check to help Washburn notch an 8- 4 win at Lou Brock Sports Complex.

Washburn (32-18) was outhit 17-7 but stranded 13 RiverHawks, thanks in part to Silva's ability to thwart Northeastern State's scoring opportunities in the middle innings.

Silva allowed four runs in 61/3 innings to improve to 9-0 on the season.

"As good as his stuff is, his best aspect is that he's just a competitor," WU catcher David Gauntt said of Silva. "He doesn't want to get beat. He might get frustrated, but he never gets rattled."

No. 3-seeded Washburn will meet Emporia State at 4 p.m. Friday in the next round. ESU took a 10-3 victory over Central Oklahoma on Thursday.

Northeastern State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first and scored two more after the first four straight batters reached base in the second.

"We were kind of down a little bit because we didn't feel like we were getting hit hard," WU coach Harley Douglas said. "They were kind of bleeding some balls in, and next thing you know, you're down 3-0. You start wondering if the luck is on your side."

Gauntt, who was named MIAA player of the year on Thursday, broke the ice for the Ichabods with a solo home run to left in the bottom of the second. WU tacked on another run in on a sacrifice fly from Bowe Behymer.

NSU went up 4-2 in the third, but Kyle Carnahan brought WU back within a run on another sac fly in bottom of the inning, and the Ichabods took the lead for good in the fifth after a throwing error by the NSU third baseman plated two runs. …

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