Baseball season opens in Texas

Whitney Winter, Staff Writer

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The 2020 Wildcats, who were picked to finish fourth in the preseason NSIC Coaches’ Poll, opened their season 2-2 in four recent games at the
Alpine Fresh 4 HIM Classic in Cleburne, Texas.

“It feels good to finally start playing baseball outside again and getting the chance to play in nice weather in Texas,” Andrew Hanson, a WSC junior, said.

Hanson, an All-NSIC Second Team, junior designated hitter and second baseman for the ’Cats is listed as a Wildcat Player to Watch this season.

Senior first baseman, Bryce Bisenius, gave the ’Cats a win over Newman University, Kansas, in the season opener with walk-off homer in ninth inning Jan. 31.

“Bryce Bisenius was the big hero in game one with the walk off home run,” Alex Koch, head baseball coach, said. “He will swing the bat with power for us all year.”

Southern Arkansas used a six-run seventh inning to defeat WSC 15-5 on Feb. 1. WSC fell short for a win against Oklahoma Panhandle State, 12-18, in the final round-robin game.

“Success starts on the mound and what we do defensively and we need to take tremendous strides in both parts,” Koch said.

Brendan Madsen, senior center fielder, went 3 for 3 and WSC converted 10 walks into seven runs from Southern Nazarene pitchers in their final match-up game of the tourney.

In the final game of the tourney, against Southern Nazarene, the ’Cats struck first with three runs in the bottom of the third,then two more runs in the fourth made it 5-0. Nazarene scored in the fifth to make to the score 5-1.

In the sixth inning, the Wildcats came up with two more runs for a 7-1 lead but the Crimson Storm cut into the Wildcats lead with three runs. In the top of the seventh the score was 7-4, but Wayne responded two runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth to close out the scoring for a 10-4 win.

WSC’s run in the eighth came on a sacrifice fly from Bisenius after Hanson tripled. “I love pressure situations, so I enjoy getting up to bat late in the game with runners in scoring positions,” Hanson said.

“Andrew Hanson was probably our steadiest hitter throughout the four games,” Koch said.

Senior pitcher Hunter Wienhoff worked five innings to earn the pitching win.

“We are a better team than how we played this weekend, but all we can do now is learn from it, make adjustments and move forward,” Madsen said.

“The biggest challenge we faced this weekend was just finding our identities and figuring out how to work with each other,” Hanson said. “We have lots of talent all around the field, we just have to put it all together.”