Baseball team goes 1-3 in opening weekend

Story by Tyler Cawley, Writer

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The Baker baseball team went 1-3 to open the season this past weekend. The wildcats took a trip south to Oklahoma, where they played two series against St. Gregory’s College and Oklahoma Baptist.

Baker won game one against Saint Gregory’s 4-2 thanks in part to a strong outing from senior pitcher Lake Johnson.

“My location felt great all game. I was able to work in all of the strike zone and keep hitters off balance. My defense really helped me out too. I got the benefit of some really nice plays that saved a run or two,” Johnson said. “For my first game I felt pretty good out there. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going into the next weekend.”

Johnson went six complete innings and allowed the only two runs for SGU, making him the winning pitcher.

Offensively, Baker was only able to produce three hits but still found ways to manufacture runs. Junior outfielder Max Taulbee had two stolen bases and scored two of Baker’s four runs on the game. Senior outfielder Damon Nolan had two RBIs while junior second baseman Dylan Carrender and senior catcher Cody Gregory each had one. Closer Bennett White picked up the save, securing Baker baseball’s first win of the season.

In game two against SGU, Baker fell 12-11 in 10 innings. The Wildcats scored seven runs in the eighth inning to overcome an 8-4 deficit, only to fall to SGU in extras.

The high-scoring game was jumpstarted by junior first baseman Matt Stuart, who tallied the Wildcats’ first home run of the year while also driving in three runs. Senior Wes Summers went 5-6 on the game with an RBI, and Gregory accounted for two more.

In game one against Oklahoma Baptist, Baker only scored one run on three hits en route to losing 9-1. Nolan accounted for the only run as the Wildcats struggled to get things going offensively.

“The velocity is what got us this weekend. They had pitchers that could hit spots and hit 90 on the gun. It’s just something we aren’t used to and having some of our first at bats against them makes it even tougher,” Summers said. “The good news is that they had some of the best pitchers we will see all year so we can be prepared for whoever we face here on out.”

In game two against OBU, the Wildcats faced a combination of five OBU pitchers. Junior pitcher Austin Stendebach took the loss for the Wildcats as they fell 9-0.

Baker will open up play at home this weekend as they square off against William Woods at Sauder Field in a four-game series. First pitch will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday.