Baseball drops three games against MNU


Justin Toumberlin

Jordan Brown pitched 3.2 innings for Baker in game one of the MNU series. Brown allowed three hits but no runs. Photo by Justin Toumberlin.

Story by Bailey Conklin, Sports Editor

The Baker baseball team went 1-3 against Heart of America Conference rival MidAmerica Nazarene University on Thursday and Friday. The Wildcats played all four games at home and split the doubleheader on Thursday afternoon before dropping two games on Friday.

In Thursday’s games, Baker fell to the Pioneers 5-2 in game one and defeated MNU 4-3 in game two.

In game one against the Pioneers, Baker pitcher Lake Johnson wasn’t able to hold off the MNU offense, allowing five runs in 3.1 innings. Junior Jordan Brown replaced Johnson for the remainder of the game and held the Pioneers to three hits.

MNU pitcher Matt Terrones pitched all seven innings for the Pioneers and held Baker to five hits.

After two early runs from the Pioneers, the Wildcats were able to tie it up in the third inning. Junior Sean Beal and senior Damon Nolan scored the tying runs for Baker.

In the fourth inning, Baker fell behind as MNU scored three more runs. The Wildcats weren’t able to make up the remaining runs and fell to the Pioneers in the first game 5-2.

In game two, both teams remained scoreless until the fourth inning. Wildcat pitcher Justin Madsen didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. After MNU brought in two runs, the ‘Cats responded with two runs of their own.

Senior Cody Gregory was brought in by junior Matt Stuart and senior Trevor Lininger was brought in by junior Dylan Carrender.

Senior Bennett White replaced Madsen on the mound for the final inning, allowing one run, putting MNU ahead 3-2.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats loaded the bases, giving Wes Summers the opportunity to score Nolan and sophomore Max Taulbee.

With Baker’s two runs in the seventh, the Wildcats took game two with a 4-3 victory.

After splitting with MNU the first day, the Wildcats looked to improve on Friday, but had no such luck.

Pioneer pitcher Phil Graham threw a complete seven-inning shutout, earning seven strikeouts and only allowing four hits.

For the Wildcats, senior Kekai Rivera-Albeso took the mound for the first six innings, allowing six hits total. After one run from MNU in the first and two runs in the second, the Pioneers led the Wildcats 3-0.

No more runs were scored for either side through the sixth inning. In the seventh inning, the Wildcats replaced Rivera-Albeso on the mound with junior Austin Stendebach, who had two strikeouts.

Friday’s first game ended with a 3-0 victory for MNU.

In the final game against Baker, MNU scored 13 runs and faced three different pitchers for the Wildcats.

Senior Gage Kiesling started on the mound for the Wildcats, allowing nine hits and four runs through the first three innings.

One run from senior Jordan David brought in by Nolan put the Wildcats on the board in the third. At the end of the third inning Baker trailed the Pioneers 4-1.

In the fourth inning Stendeback replaced Kiesling on the mound, allowing eight runs. MNU scored four runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth.

Bennett White replaced Stendebach for the remaining 2.2 innings and allowed just one run and had two strikeouts. After the top of the fourth inning, Baker trailed MNU 12-1.

In the bottom of the seventh David earned his first career home run, giving Baker one more run before the end of the game.

Baker fell to the Pioneers 13-2 in the final game against MNU.

The ‘Cats are now 3-9 in conference play and 10-24 overall. MNU improves to 9-3 in conference play and 18-7 overall.

Baker will now play at Ottawa University on March 28.