By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
The Fort Hays State baseball team split a pair of games with the Washburn Ichabods on Saturday (Apr. 24) at Larks Park. After Washburn took game one 8-5, FHSU responded by winning a nail-bitter in game two, 5-4. The Tigers now sit at 9-22 overall, 9-18 in the MIAA, while the Ichabods moved to 14-19, 13-14 in the MIAA.
Fort Hays State will hit the road next weekend (Apr. 30 – May 1) for a three game series at Emporia State. Game one of the series is set for 6:00 pm on Friday night.
Game 1 – Washburn 8, Fort Hays State 5
Washburn struck first in the opener, pushing across four runs on four hits in the third inning. Fort Hays State cut into the lead with a run in the third when Jaxson Webb led off with a single up the middle. Webb swiped second before Drake Angeron beat out an infield single, putting runners on the corners with just one out. Jacob Bouzide drove in the Tiger run with a groundout to shortstop.
After posting zeros in the first two innings, Tiger starter Padraic Walsh did the same across the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Tiger offense had runners on in each of those innings, but was unable to cut into the lead. Washburn doubled its total with four more runs in the seventh, including a three-run home run from Cole Emerson.
Fort Hays State began its comeback in the next half inning, pushing across one run to make the score 8-2. Angeron reached on a two-out error before scoring from second on a single off the bat of Bouzide. The Tigers closed within three with a trio of runs in the eighth thanks to a solo home run from Garrett Stephens and a two-run shot from Webb. But the Ichabod bullpen got out of the eighth with a strikeout before retiring the side in order in the ninth to secure the win.
Walsh (2-1) took the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits, while striking out three batters. Jake Steinbring tossed 1.2 innings out of the bullpen, allowing a pair of runs, while Jayce Meyer threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Angeron, Stephens and Webb all collected two hits in game one, with Bouzide recording the only other Tiger base knock. Webb scored two runs and drove in two more, while Bouzide also drove in a pair.
Game 2 – Fort Hays State 5, Washburn 4
Fort Hays State got on the board first in game two in their first at-bat. Drake Angeron only saw one pitch before he blasted a leadoff home run to right field for his first of the season. Washburn would later tie the game on a solo home run in the fourth before they took the lead with an RBI single in the fifth.
The Tigers were able to regain the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ed Scott started the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Jaxson Webb then moved Scott to second with a sacrafice bunt. Griffin Brunson came through with Scott in scoring position, driving him in with a single to right field. Later in the inning with two on and two outs, Jacob Bouzide produced his third RBI of the afternoon with a double down the left field line scoring Brunson and giving the Tigers the 3-2 lead.
FHSU added some crucial insurance runs to their lead with two on two hits in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Washburn’s Trevor Marreel threw a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Grant Schmidt to advance home. Conner Kessler then loaded the bases once again with a four-pitch walk. Mareel struggled to throw strikes as Angeron drew another walk to put the Tigers up 5-2 entering the ninth. The Ichabods made things interesting late by adding two runs to cut the Tiger lead down to 5-4 with only one out in the ninth. With runners on second and third, Washburn’s Eric Hinostroza hit a grounder to first baseman Kade Wallace. He threw a strike home to Garrett Stephens who tagged the tying run out at the plate. The next batter then grounded out to third base to end the game and sealed the 5-4 victory for Fort Hays State.
Angeron had a nice day at the plate going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, including his solo home run and the game-winning walk in the eighth. Bouzide and Brunson also earned RBIs for the Tigers in game two.
Hunter Parker (3-2) had a big start on the bump for the Tigers. Parker went 7.1 innings of work allowing just two earned runs on six hits, striking out eight Ichabod batters. Jacob Ensz picked up his fifth save of the year, finishing the game for the Tigers. Ensz allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two batters in 1.2 innings of relief.
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 (April 23), 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.