Baker baseball swept in conference opener

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baseball:Senior Brandon Truitt follows through his swing after hitting a pitch in practice. Baker lost both games of its conference opener to Culver-Stockton College Monday in Canton, Mo. :Pat Howell

The Baker University baseball team got off to a rough start in conference play by dropping both games of a doubleheader to Culver-Stockton College Monday in Canton, Mo.

Game one of the doubleheader was a pitcher's duel between junior Chris Cummins and Culver-Stockton's Ishmael Gutierrez. The game was scoreless through five and a half innings until Culver-Stockton scored the game's only run: a double steal to give CSC a 1-0 victory.

"We had our chances to get runs across the board, and we didn't execute a couple of times," head coach Phil Hannon said. "I think we left five or six men on base in that first game, but Chris Cummins threw a hell of a game, and we had the opportunity to win that game. We just couldn't push any runs across."

Cummins went the distance Monday for his second complete game of the season. He has a record of 1-1 and has only given up three runs over the span of 15 innings.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Baker jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Culver-Stockton scored three runs in the third and sixth innings and two runs in the fifth inning to win 8-1.

Baker scored its run with two outs when sophomore Bryan Kindle reached safely on an error by the shortstop and then scored on senior Brandon Truitt's RBI double.

Despite losing both games, Kindle still thought the team did a number of things well Monday.

"Our defense and pitching were really good," Kindle said. "That's the part we kind of struggled against Rogers State, but our hitting just wasn't there today. Our pitching was really good today, though."

Baker was scheduled to play the University of Sioux Falls Saturday, but the game was canceled due to moisture on the field. BU's doubleheader against Sterling College was also canceled so students would not miss two straight days of school. The team also had to move some practices inside as well.

"Hitting inside is tough, but I think our guys do well with hitting in the cage and seeing some pitches, but I don't think it bothers us much," junior Steven Stewart said.

BU is 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the HAAC heading into doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday against Central Methodist University and Lindenwood University.

Both doubleheaders will start at 1 p.m. at Sauder Field.

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