The Baker Orange

Baseball ends season with senior day split

Story by Chad Mullens, Writer

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The baseball season ended with senior day on Saturday after a four-game split with the Avila University Eagles. The Wildcats finished last in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings at 6-20 and did not make the conference tournament after making it as a fifth seed last year at 14-12.

For senior Kyle Pattrick, this season left a bad taste in his mouth, but it did not take away from the joy of being around the sport.

“The season did not go as we had planned, but with it being my last year, I tried to have a lot of fun out there, and I did,” Pattrick said.

After entering conference play 8-8, the Wildcats felt very good about their chances, but Pattrick thinks the team became complacent.

“I think we came into conference feeling pretty good, we beat Rogers State twice, and we don’t beat them very often,” Pattrick said. “I think we just figured that the game would come to us, and we didn’t have to work as hard to get where we wanted.”

After seemingly pulling it together in late March/early April by winning three consecutive games, the Wildcats lost 10 straight and 12 of 14, sealing their fate of an early season exit.

“We kind of just fell in a rut,” Pattrick said. “Some days our pitching would be on and our hitting would be off, other days it would be our offense playing well and the pitching or defense struggling, so we just weren’t able to pull it all together.”

Freshman Tyler Brough could not pinpoint a certain area where the Wildcats were constantly lacking, but agreed with the idea of being inconsistent.

“I don’t think there was really one exact thing that contributed the most, but sometimes I think we showed up to the field not ready to play mentally,” Brough said.

The Wildcats will feature a heavily loaded senior class next season, returning seven regular starting fielders, including the top three batters: Travis Johnson, Cort Brennan and Ethan Jacks. All three hit over .321 and combined for 45 RBIs. On the mound, one of the top starters, Seth Jones, will be entering his senior season. Jones, the only Wildcat pitcher with a winning record this season at 6-5 and a 4.50 ERA, pitched a no-hitter on April 4 against Culver-Stockton College.

“I think not doing so well this year will really help the big senior class next year,” Pattrick said. “I also think losing only three seniors helps, and keeping the whole team together will help with the consistency.”

Brough thinks that the team has what it takes to improve upon its weaknesses and make a run at the HAAC tournament in 2016.

“We just need to learn how to play full games and finish games off strong,” Brough said.

Baker says goodbye to seniors Pattrick, Ryan Terstiep and Taylor Whittum. Pattrick pitched 26.1 innings in 17 games this year, including his only start of the season on senior night when he pitched seven innings and gave up seven runs in the 7-1 loss. Terstriep finished his four years with a .216 batting average with 14 doubles, 4 homers and 49 RBIs. Whittum saw time as an infielder and a pitcher and had a career batting average of .268 in 179 at bats with 2 homers and a 4.85 ERA this season in 55.2 innings pitched.

As his time as a Wildcat comes to a close, Pattrick believes the bond with his teammates was the greatest takeaway of his baseball career at Baker.

“Former teammates who graduated before me, I still stay in touch with them, and I will definitely stay in touch with all of my teammates who will still be here after I leave,” Pattrick said. “The relationships I have will be one thing that will always stay with me.”

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