Sophomore Cooper Clark pitches against Fort Scott Community College Wednesday in the Baker University junior varsity game at Sauder Field. The varsity team will end its regular season against Avila University Saturday and Sunday in Kansas City, Mo.
Image by Callie Paquette.
BU by the numbers
- 33: runs the offense the baseball team has scored in its last four games.
- 5: consecutive games the Wildcats have been defeated by one run.
- 4: regular season games remaining.
The Baker University baseball team is going into its last regular season series against Avila University Saturday and Sunday with its playoff hopes on the line.
“We expect to win every game,” head coach Phil Hannon said. “Our guys are going to come out and battle, which they do every weekend.”
The Wildcats will attempt to bounce back from being swept in a four-game series against Peru State College Friday and Saturday at Sauder Field.
In game one Friday, senior Chris Cummins and sophomore Brian Replogle did not allow the Bobcats to get an extra base hit, but the Wildcats committed four errors and went on to fall 8-1.
Baker sent senior Nathan Wheelock to the mound in game two. Wheelock kept the Bobcats off the board until the sixth inning, when they took a 2-1 lead and that would be all PSC would need.
The two teams returned Saturday to Sauder Field, but the bad fortune continued for BU.
In the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Bobcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the top of the fourth, but then the Wildcats’ offense came alive.
Senior Steven Stewart got things going in the bottom half of the fourth when he beat out a throw to first base and then advanced to third base on a throwing error. Senior Joey Orozco drove in Stewart with an RBI double to cut the deficit to 6-1.
The Wildcats carried their rally into the fifth by scoring four runs in the fifth inning with a barrage of singles and walks to trim PSC’s advantage to 6-5. BU threatened again in the top of seventh by beginning the inning with two walks, but Peru State escaped with the 6-5 victory.
Baker’s offense continued to surge in the series finale as the Wildcats scored five runs in the first inning. However, Peru State did not go away, and quickly cut BU’s lead to 5-4 in the top of the third inning. Baker responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the third with two-RBI singles from juniors Chase Dengel and Justin Lane.
“So far this year, we haven’t been scoring a lot of runs,” Kindle said. “We’ve won a lot of games by one run and haven’t really blown too many teams out, so (Saturday’s games) helped us build confidence knowing that we can score some runs.”
The lead would not hold, though, as Peru State scored three runs in the fifth inning, one in the sixth and took the lead with two more tallies in the seventh to win the game 10-9.
BU took the field Tuesday for a non-conference doubleheader against Tabor College, but the Wildcats’ bad luck in one-run games continued as they lost game one 11-10 and game two 8-7.
The ’Cats are currently in fourth place in the western division of the HAAC and sit one game behind Peru State for the division’s third and final playoff spot.
“I hope we don’t, but I know if we get down, I know we will be able to pick ourselves up,” sophomore Thomas Hawkins said. “We’re going to win four games to get the series (against Avila).”