Wildcat baseball takes two of three against Southwest Baptist

Whitney Winter, Staff Writer

Going 2-1 in three games over two days of play included an almost no-hitter for the Wildcats as they took on Southwest Baptist in non-conference play.

The baseball team went head-to-head against Southwest Baptist in two games Feb. 16, which included its almost no-hitter, and a 10-inning game Feb. 17..

In the first match-up, the team swept the Bearcats 7-4. The Wildcats went on with an 8-5 win to end the night, improving to 4-2 on the season.

The first five innings of the game were scoreless but showcased a pitchers’ duel between WSC’s Aidan Breedlove and Dalton Morrow of Southwest Baptist. In the beginning of the sixth inning Wayne State broke the scoreless game with three runs.

Senior starter Breedlove lost a no-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the seventh with a three-run homer, which sent the Wildcats’ battle into extra innings.

The Wildcats prevailed in the ninth inning with a 7-4 win. Breedlove allowed just one hit and three runs with seven strikeouts and three walks the entire game.

Senior Lawson Zenner relieved Breedlove and earned a win with one hit and one run with two strikeouts. Sophomore Andrew Staebell pitched the remaining inning and earned a save while striking out one batter.

In the second game of the day, the Wildcats scored three runs in the first then took a 4-0 lead in the second on a single from Andrew Hanson. Another three runs gave Wayne State an 8-2 lead in the third.

With no runners on base and two outs the Wildcats singled on Connor Fiene, CJ Neumann scored on a single, and Colin Chick trailed with a two-run homer.

In the fifth inning, Neumann singled and Chris Cornish walked which gave WSC its final run of the game for an 8-5 win. Senior starter Hunter Wienhoff worked five of the innings, earned the win and is now 2-0 on the season.

He only allowed three runs and six hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Staebell notched his second save of the day with one strikeout.

“We had a handful of hitters that did a great job at the plate,” head coach Alex Koch said.

On Monday, Feb. 17, the Wildcats closed the three-game series in Bolivar, Missouri, with a close loss in extra innings.

The Bearcats reclaimed the final game of the three-game series and are now 3-5 on the year. Both teams scored two runs in the first inning but the Wildcats regained the lead 3-2 at the top of the fourth.

A pair of runs came from Neumann who drew a two out walk and scored on a home run by Chick. Southwest Baptist responded with three runs to take a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Both teams continued to score on singles in the fifth and sixth innings. A pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning from Brendan Madsen and Garret Svoboda.

The runs tied up the game 7-7 which sent the Wildcats into extra innings. The Bearcats took the game in the bottom of the 10th inning with a final score of 8-7.

“We definitely got better as a team,” Koch said. “Defensively we are getting to where we need to be, and we swung the bats pretty good as well. We need to continue to work on limiting free bases to opposing teams (walks and hit by pitches). If we can do that and keep playing defense, we have a shot to win more consistently.”

The Wildcats will head to Wichita, Kansas, Feb. 22 and 23 to face Newman University in a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 22, and a nine-inning game on Sunday, Feb. 23.