TOPEKA — A five-run fourth inning propelled Washburn to a 7-4 win over Pittsburg State in the opener of a three-game set on Friday.
The Gorillas struck in the top of the first to take the initial lead before the Ichabods scored two in the second and five more in the fifth on the way to the win. PSU scored a run in eighth and ninth innings, but the comeback attempt came up short.
With the game tied at 2-all heading into the last of the fourth, Washburn got the first three hitters on base thanks to a PSU error, a walk and a hit-by-pitch, prompting the Gorillas to make a pitching change.
Cole Gardner gave the Ichabods a 3-2 lead on sacrifice fly to right field, and Gabe Franklin scored on a double steal to put Washburn up 4-2.
The Gorillas looked to be out of the inning after back-to-back strikeouts, but a dropped third strike on the second punchout allowed Riley Krane to reach first safely, with Bowe Behymer touching home on the play to push the lead to three.
Josh Crosby singled in a run, and Brett Nickle followed with an RBI double to right-center to make the score 7-4 in favor of the Ichabods.
GORILLAS ON THE MOUND
Cody Whiting (2-4) earned the start and took the loss after allowing five runs, three earned, on two hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched.
ICHABODS ON THE MOUND
Nick Silva (3-3) got the start and earned the win for Washburn. He worked 7.2 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts.
GORILLAS IN THE BOX
Dallas Reed went 1-for-4 with a leadoff home run and a walk, resulting in two RBIs and a run scored.
Colton Poque had a pair of hits in five at-bats, scoring once.
Ethan Schlesener went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Andrew Vogelbaugh had a hit, drove in one and scored a run for Pitt State.
ICHABODS IN THE BOX
Behymer went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
Gardner led WU with two RBIs, while Kasey Clark scored twice.
Darian Abram, Crosby and Nickle all had a hit and an RBI in the win.
Pitt State (8-16) and Washburn square off for game two at 1 p.m. Saturday in Topeka.
-- Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter @LDsportswriter.