The Baker University baseball team came up short Saturday and Sunday against No. 22 Avila University as the team nearly took three games from the Eagles, but the results show a four-game sweep by Avila.
BU lost both games Saturday at home after taking leads into the seventh innings. Senior Dustin Moomau set the tone on the mound in game one, giving up just one earned run in four innings pitched, and also led the team at the plate with two hits, two RBIs and a run.
With a 7-2 BU lead into the seventh, the Eagles rallied 10 runs in the final inning that BU could not match, and the 'Cats fell 12-7.
"We outplayed Avila at home except for two innings," head coach Phil Hannon said. "Those were the two innings they scored runs."
In game two, the Wildcats posted a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh before the Avila bats heated up to produce five runs. BU showed signs of a comeback, but its three runs weren't enough for a victory, as the team fell 7-6.
"We've got to finish games," Moomau said. "When we have them down early, we need to put teams away."
Moomau had another solid game at the plate with two hits – one of which was a home run – two RBIs and a run scored. Sophomore Steven Stewart and senior Tad Eubanks had two hits and an RBI apiece. The Wildcats as a whole recorded 20 hits and 14 runs on the day, and committed just three defensive errors.
"Overall, we're playing really, really well as a team," Moomau said. "But there's areas, obviously, that need to be better."
On Sunday, Baker dropped a pair of games against Avila, 3-0 and 15-5, in Kansas City, Mo. The 'Cats had another strong pitching performance by sophomore Chris Cummins, but could only produce four hits and left seven runners on base.
"Cummins pitched a gem of a game," Hannon said. "We had opportunities, we just didn't capitalize on those opportunities we had."
Avila rallied 22 hits in game two, which was too much for the Wildcats' offense to overcome.
"It just wasn't our day I guess," Moomau said. "It seems like every time we had something going, something bad would follow."
Senior Nick Peterson said despite the losses, the team can learn from the tough games against a strong team.
"We were pretty much two to three innings away from beating a top-25 team three times," Peterson said. "Also, it will increase our mental toughness and help us prepare for the playoffs."