Ichabods snap Tigers' streak
A grand slam off the bat of Garrett Stephens wasn't quite enough to help the Fort Hays State baseball team complete a comeback Friday evening, with the Tigers (8-21, 8-17 MIAA) falling to Washburn 8-5 at Larks Park.
After starter Jake Campbell retired the side in order in the first, Fort Hays State got on the board quickly with back-to-back doubles from Drake Angeron and Jacob Bouzide. Angeron led off with a double that escaped a diving center-fielder before Bouzide sent a line drive just inside the chalk down the left-field line. Rane Pfeifer, the Washburn starter, got back on track by retiring the next three batters and stranding Bouzide at third.
Washburn responded with two runs on two hits and a walk in the second inning before manufacturing five runs on a two-out rally in the third inning, taking a commanding 7-1 lead. The Tigers had trouble the rest of the evening with Pfeifer (2-4), failing to record a base hit over his final five innings of work.
Campbell also settled in after giving up the early runs, retiring the final 10 batters he faced to keep the Ichabods at seven runs through the seventh inning. Ryan Ruder came on to extend the run to 13-straight outs with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Bouzide recorded the third Tiger hit with a single through the hole at short in the top of the eighth before Kade Wallace and Grant Schmidt were both hit by pitches, loading the bases for Stephens. The Tiger catcher fouled off the first pitch before sending a moon shot soaring towards right center. The Ichabod right fielder continued drifting back until he ran out of the room at the wall, giving Stephens his seventh home run of the season and cutting the Washburn lead to 7-5.
Washburn then brought in its fourth pitcher of the game in Dalton Huggins, who got out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. The Ichabods tacked on an insurance run on a home run in the top of the ninth, the second WU home run of the game.
Down to the final out in the ninth, Angeron reached on a fielding error by the third baseman to extend the game. Bouzide put a charge into a 2-2 pitch and nearly recorded his third hit of the game, sending it into the gap in right center before a sprinting right fielder grabbed it in stride to end the game.
Campbell (4-4) tossed 7.0 innings in the loss, surrendering seven runs on three walks while striking out two. Ruder threw 2.0 innings out of the bullpen, allowing one run on two hits.
In addition to drawing a pair of walks, Griffin Brunson was very busy at shortstop, recording 10 assists and three putouts in the game. He was responsible for 10 of the 13 Tiger assists on the day.
The Tigers were set to try to take the series with a doubleheader on Saturday.