Mules take weekend series at Washburn with 7-3 victory

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(TOPEKA, Kan.) — Six runs in the first four innings propelled the Mules baseball team to a 7-3 win on Sunday afternoon to take the series win at Washburn, their third straight victory.
The Mules (23-16, 18-10 MIAA) scored three times in the top of the first, giving starting pitcher Ricky Rivera a strong cushion to work with against the Ichabod offense. Following a pair of one out walks in the top of the first, junior Bennett Oliver stroked a single to left center, driving in the game’s first two runs. After Oliver advanced to third base on a single and an error by the Washburn left fielder, he advanced home on a sacrifice fly by Matt Milner, bumping the lead to 3-0.
Central Missouri received a fourth run in the top of the second on a sacrifice bunt to pitcher by senior Dusty Maas, plating Colton Hilbrenner who led off the inning with a walk.
Oliver’s team-leading sixth home run to right center to lead off the top of the third gave the Mules a 5-0 cushion. It was Oliver’s second long ball of the series.
With runners on second and third and no outs, a second sacrifice bunt to the pitcher by Maas put the Mules ahead, 6-0 in the top of the fourth.
In the home half of the fourth, the Ichabods’ Corey Gragg singled home a run with two outs to make it a 6-1 ballgame. The Ichabods got two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double from Connor Crimmins and an RBI single by Gragg.
A seventh run came across for the Mules in the top of the eighth. With runners on first and third, was picked off, 3-6-3-6-3, but allowed senior Trevor Jones to score from third base.
Sophomore pitcher Grant Gavin relieved Rivera in the eighth inning and tossed two scoreless innings. He struck out three batters.
Rivera (6-2) allowed six hits on three runs (all earned), while walking three and striking out a pair.
Oliver finished the afternoon going 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, two runs scored and two walks. Jones went 3-for-5 with a run scored from the leadoff spot.
The Mules are slated to travel to Emporia State on Wednesday, April 15, for a nonconference game at 6 p.m.