Baseball opens conference play 2-2

Story by Chad Mullen, Writer

The Baker University baseball team has started its conference season 2-2 after taking two games over Graceland University on Friday, before dropping two to Peru State College on Sunday.

Matt Stuart had a walk-off double in game one of Friday’s doubleheader, capping off a terrific game as he went 2-3 with two RBIs. Dylan Carrender also had a standout performance, going 3-4, including a triple in the third inning that brought home a run. He also scored on a Stuart single to tie the game at 3-3 at the end of the third.

The fourth inning saw the Wildcats take their first lead of the game, but the Yellowjackets reclaimed the lead at the top of the fifth. Damon Nolan scored the tying run in the sixth on a wild pitch, and Kekai Rivera-Albeso came in to pitch the seventh inning for BU, allowing just one hit and no runs before Stuart’s game-winning hit.

Game two showed two late-blooming offenses, as all of the runs in the game were scored in the sixth inning. Logan Bima of the Bobcats provided instant offense with a two-run blast with one out at the top of the inning. Starting pitcher Justin Madsen was able to maintain his composure and finish the inning with no further damage done to the scoreboard.

The Wildcat offense came right back in the bottom half of the inning, as Sam Marks tripled in two runs, and a sac-fly by Wes Summers on the following at-bat brought Marks home to give Baker a 3-2 lead. Bennett White pitched the final inning, shutting out the Bobcats and earning the save.

The Wildcats offense struggled on Sunday, scoring only in game one’s 8-2 loss to the Bobcats. Bryan Ventura Castro was the star for Peru State in game one, knocking in four runs in a 2-4 effort. He tripled and had a two-run homer in the game. The Wildcats had five hits, with Cody Gregory and Max Taulbee driving in runs.

Game two actually saw more hits for the Wildcats, but none of them came with runners in scoring position, nor did they have any extra-base hits. The Wildcats were shut out 4-0 in this game, dropping them to .500 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play.

The Wildcats also had two non-conference games, falling to Kansas Wesleyan University 11-7 Tuesday and Sterling College 9-8 on Wednesday. Baker is now 9-17 on the season and will continue with Heart action Saturday when they host Benedictine College, kicking off a four-game weekend series.