Baseball splits two road series

Story by Levi, Writer

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The baseball team split its series with Culver-Stockton on Saturday in Canton, Missouri, and followed that with a split with Grand View on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa. The Wildcats have split a series against a Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent five times this season.

This brings the Wildcats to an 11-15 overall record and 5-5 in the Heart.

“In order to sweep we need to come together collectively as a team and have our defense, hitting, and pitching firing on all cylinders,” senior Austin Bass said. “We’re yet to really have all three at their full potential at the same time.”

Against Culver-Stockton, Baker lost game one 3-1, then came back strong for a 12-5 victory in game two. CSC is now 13-17 overall and 7-3 in conference play.

Game one was tight with junior Caleb Lee throwing six innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out seven batters.

“Our pitching was there both games for the most part,” Bass said. “We just let game one get away from us with some critical errors.”

It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth inning that Culver-Stockton scored the two game-winning runs.

Bass knocked in the only run for Baker in game one. Senior Travis Johnson scored that run. The Wildcats tallied seven total hits during the game, despite only scoring once.

In game two, the Wildcats leaned on Jordan David for the start. He was able to lead Baker to a win after pitching six innings.

“In game two we were able to find more holes and gaps for hits,” Bass said. “We were squaring balls up in game one but just couldn’t catch a break.”

Baker was preparing for another game to come down to the wire as the game entered the top of the fifth inning and Baker winning 3-1. Then everyone for Baker started hitting as the Wildcats put up an impressive six runs in the fifth to take a commanding 9-1 lead.

“During the fifth-inning rally in game two the energy was phenomenal,” Bass said. “The bats were flowing and hits were contagious, and we were playing good baseball like we know we are capable of.”

The Wildcats relied heavily on their senior hitters. Out of the 17 total hits, Bass and fellow seniors Neal Boyce, Travis Johnson, Charlie Coleman, Cort Brennan, Gabe Greenbaum and Ethan Jacks put up 14.

Baker saw some relief pitching late in the game from sophomores Austin Stendebach and Bennett White and freshman Wes Boehm. Each of them threw one inning.

The Wildcats followed the Culver split with a split against Grand View on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa. The Wildcats lost game one 7-1 but rallied in the second game to win 8-5.

Baker will be busy during the month of April with 24 conference games. This will be a great opportunity for the Wildcats to work toward a good seed in the Heart Tournament at the end of the season.

“The key to success late in the season is putting all three facets together – hitting, pitching, and defense – consistently all at the same time while having fun in the process,” Bass said. “And also having confidence in ourselves and fulfilling our individual roles to see how good we can really be.”