MARYVILLE, Missouri – The Northwest Missouri State University baseball team began the day with a slight hope of a berth into the MIAA Tournament, but the Washburn University Ichabods wiped away any chances by completing a three-game sweep of the Bearcats.
Washburn recorded a 20-14 win in the opener and then closed out Northwest with a 9-7 victory in the nightcap with the sunlight dwindling at the Bearcat Baseball Field.
Northwest completes its 2021 season with a mark of 13-26 overall and 11-22 in MIAA play. Washburn is 19-20 overall and 18-15 in league action.
The Ichabods out-slugged the Bearcats in a 20-14 decision to begin the day.
The game began at noon and lasted nearly four hours. The teams combined to use 10 pitchers. Washburn scored a run in every inning but the first and seventh. Northwest failed to score in the first, second, third and eighth innings.
The Ichabods built an 8-0 lead as the visitors touched up Bearcat starter Alex Slocum. Slocum pitched 3 2/3 innings. Slocum allowed 10 hits and seven runs (six earned).
Northwest dented the scoreboard with its first of four consecutive three-run innings in the fourth. Ryan Koski doubled to right to score Donovan Warren to put Northwest on the board. Matt Gastner ripped a two-run double to center that scored Drew Mackie and Koskie as the Bearcats pulled to within 8-3.
However, the Ichabods answered with its second straight five-run rally in the fifth to take a 13-3 lead.
Northwest put up its second three-spot in the fifth on a two-RBI double from Connor Quick and an RBI single from Gastner.
Washburn’s Parker Dunn pushed the lead back to 10 with a three-run homer in the sixth.
Undeterred, Northwest’s Peter Carlson ripped a bases clearing double to center to trim the Ichabod lead to 16-9.
Northwest kept coming in the seventh with three more runs to cut the margin to four at 16-12. Jacob Pinkerton tripled to left to score Gastner to begin the scoring in the seventh. Pinkerton scored on a wild pitch and Carlson reached on an error at second base to allow Warren to cross the plate.
Washburn scored a single run in the eight and then touched up the Bearcats for three more in the top of the ninth to take a 20-12 lead.
Carlson drew a bases loaded walk in the ninth and Mackie drove home a run on a ground out to close out the scoring in a 20-14 Bearcat loss.
Carlson went 1-for-5 with five RBI in the opener. Koski went 2-for-4 and Gastner tallied a two-hit game with a 2-for-5 performance. Warren scored three runs.
Northwest looked to turn things around in the nightcap but let a pair of three-run leads evaporate and Washburn turned it into a 9-7 victory for the visitors.
Koski drove home the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice that scored Brett Holden. Mackie drew a bases loaded walk that allowed Warren to score. Gastner lifted a sacrifice fly to right that got Koski home before Mackie was doubled off at first base.
Washburn cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the second, but Northwest moved the lead back to 4-1 on an RBI double from Warren.
The Ichabods pushed across four runs in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead off Bearcat starter Spencer Hanson (3-4).
Washburn scored on a wild pitch in the fifth to push advantage to 6-4. The Ichabods pushed two more runs across in the sixth to chase Hanson from the contest with Northwest trailing 8-4. Hanson went 5 1/3 innings and allowed six hits, but eight runs (all earned). Hanson walked five and struck out three.
The Ichabods scored their eighth straight run of the game in the seventh to take a 9-4 lead off reliever Colin Shreves. Shreves finished the game for the Bearcats by going 3 2/3 and allowing three hits and one run. Shreves struck out two.
Quick singled home Holden in the seventh as the Bearcats drew closer at 9-5.
Mackie launched a solo homer to right in the eighth to pull Northwest to within three runs at 9-6.
Koski lifted a sacrifice fly to center in the ninth as Northwest climbed to within 9-7. Despite putting runners on first and second with two outs, Mackie flew out to center to end the game and the Bearcat season.
Holden went 2-for-4 with four runs scored. Koski and Mackie drove in two runs.