The Baker Orange

Five BU teams to host games on Saturday

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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Baker athletics will host five different sporting events on Saturday, including three NAIA playoff games at Liston Stadium. This is the busiest sports weekend for Baker since Athletic Director Theresa Yetmar took over in 2009.

“This is very exciting, very special and very unique,” Yetmar said. “It’s a tribute to our coaches and our teams.”

Saturday’s schedule starts with the No. 2 football team hosting Point University in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series with a noon kickoff at Liston Stadium.

After the football game the field will have to be prepared for two soccer games. The first features the No. 11 women’s soccer team hosting No. 20 Viterbo in the opening round of the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship at 5:30 p.m. Then the No. 3 men’s soccer team will host Wiley College in an first-round game at 8 p.m.

“You have to really work hard to earn hosting,” Yetmar said. “So having all three of them in the top 11 is impressive.”

On Nov. 23, 2013, Baker won a home playoff football game against Sterling College 10-7 in the early afternoon and then won a night men’s soccer playoff game against Midland 2-1 in overtime. That day was busy for the athletics staff, but this Saturday will feature an extra playoff game.

“What people need to realize is this is three separate national championships all in one day,” Assistant Athletic Director of Communications Tyler Price said. “We’re used to having a men’s and women’s soccer doubleheader, like when we play Missouri Valley or MidAmerica, but this is two separate national championships, so this is huge.”

Price believes that the spotlight of the NAIA on Baker on Saturday is great for the athletic department and the school.

“Just hosting one national tournament game is big for an NAIA school,” Price said. “But to be able to host three is really a historic day for Baker athletics.”

The playoff games at Liston Stadium aren’t the only events taking place on campus Saturday. Down Fremont Street and inside the Collins Center, the men’s and women’s basketball teams host their biggest rival, the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers. Two games that would normally draw a huge crowd will likely lose some attendance due to the games at Liston Stadium.

The women’s basketball game begins at 2 p.m. and the men’s game starts at 4 p.m. Because of the overlapping of football and women’s soccer, the athletic department is using the help of the MNU athletic staff as well as help from the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

The MNU athletic department will keep stats for both basketball games and Heart Conference Director of Communications Eric Montgomery will broadcast both games on the live stream. With most of the campus’ attention focused on Liston Stadium, Yetmar didn’t want basketball to lose the department’s interest.

“We wanted to make sure we did right by those two teams and make sure they get the attention they deserve,” Yetmar said.

Saturday will be a historic and chaotic day for Baker athletics with all five games being played in Baldwin City. It also marks the beginning of the end for fall sports, but the football and soccer teams hope their seasons last a few more weeks.

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