Lindenwood bats make it seven consecutive losses for BU baseball

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Baseball:Junior Nick Peterson hits a ground ball Tuesday. April 14, during the game against Lindenwood University at Charlie Richard Outdoor Sports Complex. The Wildcats lost the game 12-2.:Pat Howell

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Things can only get easier for the Baker University baseball team.

Within less than a week, the Wildcats took on six games against the top two teams in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Baker spent its Easter break facing No. 2 William Jewell College in a close four-game series defeat.

Senior Vidal Nuno pitched nine strikeouts and gave up just one earned run, but it wasn't enough to capture the victory in game one as Baker fell 4-0.

In game two, the 'Cats lost in heartbreak fashion, 2-3, after the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.

The ball did not fall Baker's way in the second doubleheader, as the 'Cats lost 5-3 and 6-10 in Liberty, Mo. 

Baker looked to get redemption against No. 1- ranked Lindenwood University Tuesday afternoon at Sauder Field after two previous one-run losses to the Lions earlier this season.

However, the 'Cats faced the Lions at a hot spot in their season as the team entered the contest on an eight-game winning streak and currently sit at No. 24 nationally.

"Luck is just not on our side right now," junior Chad Griffin said. "It was like all of their balls were falling, and all of our balls were getting caught."

The 'Cats struggled to find consistent pitching and offensive execution in both games, falling 12-2 in each. Griffin's home run was the offensive highlight in game one against a tough Lion pitching staff.

"He was a very good pitcher that kept us off balance and rarely made mistakes," Griffin said. "He left a hanging breaking ball, and I was lucky he made a mistake and took advantage of it."

Assistant coach Aaron Westerhouse said things just wouldn't fall Baker's way in both games, offensively and defensively.

"We just kind of had a couple bad hops and the balls weren't bouncing our way a few times," Westerhouse said.

Sophomore Josh Reed came out strong on the mound for Baker in game two. Reed held the Lions scoreless until the fourth inning.

Then, the Lions exploded, beginning with a grand slam to jumpstart the 16-hit effort.

"Josh was doing a great job pitching, then we just got in trouble," freshman Steven Stewart said. "When they hit that grand slam we just put our heads down and it went downhill from there."

Baker will face Benedictine College in a four-game series beginning at 1 p.m. Friday in Atchison followed by a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday at Sauder Field.

Stewart, the starting second baseman for the Wildcats, was named the HAAC Player of the Week April 6 for his dominating offensive efforts on the field.

Stewart hit .440 in four games with 10 RBIs and two home runs. Stewart said he was surprised by this honor as a freshman player.

"It was a great honor as a freshman," he said. "I wasn't expecting it, but I was hitting pretty well that week and I hope that I can keep hitting like that."

The team won the first game of the doubleheader against Avila 3-1 Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo., and lost the second game 11-1.

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