Baker University sports roundup
Wildcats extend home winning streak to five games
Jaris Wommack scored a game-high 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and pulled down 11 rebounds, sparking Baker University to a 61-53 men’s basketball victory over Missouri Valley on Saturday at the Collins Center. It marked the Wildcats’ fifth consecutive home victory.
“I always think it’s important to defend your home floor,” Wildcat head coach Brett Ballard said. “The guys are playing tough, and we’ve got a big game looming on Thursday evening in Olathe.”
Baker, 12-16 and fifth in the Heart of America Athletic Conference at 8-10, will travel to MidAmerica Nazarene (12-16, 7-11 HAAC) for a key showdown at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The Wildcats close the regular season at 4 p.m. Saturday against Graceland at the Collins Center.
Baker snaps skid with win over Missouri Valley
Baker University’s women’s basketball team snapped a four-game skid, winning 66-57 on Saturday over Missouri Valley at the Collins Center.
The Wildcats (14-14 overall and 9-9 in the HAAC) led 32-26 at halftime and never trailed in the second half.
Seniors Brittany Hines and Emily Gibson led the offense. They both shot 6-for-12 from the field and netted 17 points apiece. Gibson finished with six blocks and 10 rebounds to record her eighth double-double of the season.
Baker will travel to MidAmerica Nazarene for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff tonight. The Wildcats wrap up the regular season against Graceland at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Collins Center.
Baker wrestlers take third at NAIA Central Regional
The Baker University wrestling team continues to move up the national ranks.
The Wildcat wrestlers placed third over the weekend in Marshall, Mo., at the NAIA Central Regional, beating national powers No. 17 Waldorf (Iowa) and No. 14 Oklahoma City.
Josh Haugen, a 133-pounder from Claremore, Okla., and Nathan Sommer, a 157-pounder from Parker, Kan., led the Baker grapplers, advancing to the semifinals in their respective weight classes. AJ Gassman, a 125-pounder from Belton, Mo., nearly defeated No. 7 Alex Peitz (Grand View, Iowa) in the third-place match but fell late in the match on a reversal.
“I think out kids really believe in themselves,” Wildcat head coach Jimmy May said. “We’ve consistently shown this season that we can hang with the top teams in the country. I think when the rankings come out on Tuesday we should be somewhere in the top 15 nationally.”
Baker will now prepare for the NAIA National Championships March 3-5 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Softball squad opens at Fort Worth tournament
The Baker University softball team went 2-4 at the weekend Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Wildcats opened Friday afternoon against Northwood University (Texas). The Wildcats stayed in the game late, trailing 1-0 heading into the sixth inning, but Northwood broke open the game with a four-run sixth to close out the Wildcats. Heather Gruber pitched six innings while giving up only three earned runs in the 5-0 defeat.
Baker bounced back in the nightcap, defeating Texas Wesleyan University 3-0. Maggie Holmberg pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up only three hits with nine strikeouts. Baker scored all three runs in the sixth inning thanks to RBIs from Katie Worley, Erin Greenwood and Holmberg.
In the third game on Friday, the Wildcats faced No. 5 Lubbock Christian University (Texas). The Chaps jumped to an early 2-0 lead, but Baker held steady until the sixth inning when Lubbock Christian broke the game open with a four runs. Erin Greenwood pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits.
The Wildcats faced Oklahoma Baptist University twice on Saturday. In the first game, OBU jumped to an early 2-0 lead after scoring twice in the first inning, but the Wildcats battled back in the fifth inning thanks to an RBI single from Brooke Allen. OBU defeated Baker 2-1 in game one and 5-1 in game two.
The Wildcats also played HAAC competition when they faced Graceland University on Saturday afternoon. Heather Gruber and Brittany Vollenweider homered to spark the Baker offense. The Wildcats’ three-run sixth inning keyed the 4-2 victory.
Baker will return to action on March 4-5 when it travels to the CBC Meltdown in Conway, Ark. The Wildcats’ home opener is March 9 against Southwestern.
Track squads place third at HAAC
Baker University’s men’s and women’s track and field teams both placed third at the HAAC Indoor Championships on Saturday in Lamoni, Iowa.
Katie Thurbon led the women’s team with a first-place finish in the pole vault (3.43 meters). Stephanie Nelson and Carrie Lister scored big points in the shot put, finishing first and second respectfully with throws of 13.04 meters and 12.77 meters.
On the men’s side, Aaron Hannon opened the meet with a first-place finish in the heptathlon. Jason Robbs took the gold in the weight throw with a mark of 18.08 meters. Jeremy Gathright again dominated the triple jump with a winning mark of 14.84 meters.
The Wildcats will compete at the NAIA Indoor Championships on March 3-5 in Geneva, Ohio.
Baseball team opens with 1-3 record
Baker University’s baseball team opened with a 1-3 record, falling three times to host Rogers State and defeating Ottawa, at a weekend tournament in Claremore, Okla.
The Wildcats beat Ottawa 9-2. Rogers State defeated Baker 14-4, 12-1 and 9-1.
Baker is scheduled to play at 1 p.m. Saturday against Park University at Sauder Field.