Baseball holds on to knock off Baker 4-3 in home opener

Kansas Wesleyan Baseball opened the home portion of its schedule on Thursday night with a 4-3 win over the Baker University Wildcats under the lights at Dean Evans Stadium.The home opener was originally scheduled for Saturday in a doubleheader at The Dean, but forecast inclement weather forced the schedule change.The Coyotes took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Tyler Favretto walked and then Jarrett Gable lofted a ball into the night sky in right field that just kept drifting and drifting until it cleared the fence for a homer, giving the Coyotes the lead.Meanwhile, starting pitcher Nathan Righi was in control on the hill, holding the Wildcats to three hits over six innings with five strikeouts, but did struggle a little bit with control, walking five batters as well.The Coyote offense was also challenged, only having one hit, Gable’s homer, until the seventh inning Favretto led off the frame with a double later in the inning, the Coyotes used a little small ball with a double steal that worked as pinch runner Coulson Riggs stole second and Alex Garcia stole home after running for Favretto.The eighth also yielded another run for the Coyotes when Garcia led off the frame with a bunt single and then took third on an errant back pick at first base, then scored on Jacob Williamson’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-0 Coyotes.Baker scored three times in the ninth to make things interesting. Pinch hitter Brayden Vawter singled and Javier Aguirre doubled to give the Wildcats two runners on with one out. Savon Battle tripled to drive in two runs, and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.Coyote closer Ryan Sandoval ended the game with a strike out as he struck out the side in the ninth.Wesleyan scored four runs on only three hits as Favretto, Gable and Garcia had the knocks for the Coyotes. Righi went six innings to get the win allowing three hits with five strikeouts and five walks. Ritter Steinmann went an inning, KT Gearlds went an inning and Sandoval closed it out in the ninth.The teams will meet again on Friday in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. in Baldwin City. The Coyotes are at home again next weekend hosting a pair of doubleheaders with Saint Ambrose University on Friday and Saturday at The Dean.