Baseball sweeps Culver; Jones throws no-hitter

Story by Levi Blaylock, Writer

April 4 was one to remember for the baseball team. Baker captured its first conference sweep of the season against Culver-Stockton with wins of 4-0 and 4-3 at Sauder Field in Baldwin City.

In the first of two games against Culver-Stockton, junior Seth Jones threw his first collegiate no-hitter in seven innings. Jones faced the minimum against Culver with six strikeouts and one walk. Baker won 4-0 and registered its first no-hitter since 2012.

Despite the sweep, the Wildcats remain in last place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference at 15-21 overall and 4-10 in conference play.

Another star from the first game Saturday was junior Neal Boyce. Boyce went 3-3 at the plate with three single, a run scored and one RBI. Fellow juniors Ethan Jacks and Tevin Thompson each had two hits and contributed to two runs scored.

Baker scored one run in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to cruise into a win behind the great start from Jones. Jones has a 3.97 ERA in 59 innings pitched this season with 45 strikeouts.

In the second game of the day, Baker led 3-1 going into the top of the ninth inning after an eight-inning outing from senior Taylor Whittum.

Whittum turned the ball over to Baker’s senior closer Kyle Pattrick with one runner on base. Pattrick’s first batter hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 3-3, but Pattrick finished the ninth and pitched a scoreless 10th.

In the bottom of the 10th Whittum started the inning with a single and was replaced by sophomore pinch runner Trevor Lininger. Lininger was sacrificed to second base by Boyce, and Thompson was walked to set up a potential force play. Then junior Travis Johnson singled into right field to score Lininger to win 4-3 in walk-off fashion for the team’s first conference sweep of the season.

The Wildcats had snapped themselves out of a six-game losing streak when they beat Wiley College in the second game of a doubleheader on March 30. Now, the Wildcats are working on keeping their three-game win streak going as they face MNU in a four-game series April 10-11 in Olathe.

Although the Wildcats currently sit in last place in the Heart of America standings, one solid weekend could flip the entire standings around. Last season Baker was swept in four games by MNU in Baldwin City.