The Harding baseball team stands fourth in the Great American Conference with a 16-11 conference record and a 26-19 record overall.
The Bisons defeated the nationally-ranked University of Arkansas, Monticello at Jerry Moore Field in Searcy on Wednesday, April 16, 13-3 with 14 hits. The game ended in the seventh inning because of the NCAA’s 10-run rule. Redshirt sophomore catcher Davis Richardson hit two home runs to contribute to Wednesday’s victory over UAM.
The Bisons’ weekend series in Arkadelphia against Ouachita Baptist University kicked off with a 0-2 loss as senior pitcher Cameron Walker pitched a full game facing OBU’s Davis Ward. Head coach Patrick McGaha said Walker pitched well in Friday’s game and that OBU’s pitcher, Ward, is one of the best in the conference. The Bisons took the series 2-1 after the Saturday doubleheader, winning the opener 10-7 and the second game 10-0.
“We really needed to win both on Saturday, and the guys came out and took the challenge and played about as well as they have all year,” McGaha said. “(Senior outfielder) Trent Wooldridge went 8-for-8 for the day; hitting 6-for-6 in the first game of the doubleheader and 2-for-2 in the second. (Senior pitcher) Logan Holthaus was really strong on the mound in game one, and (redshirt sophomore pitcher) Andrew Fiddler came in and struck out the three guys he faced to finish the seventh, then finished up the last two innings strong to get the save.”
Wooldridge received GAC Player of the Week for his .823 (14-for-17) performance at the plate last week as the Bisons went 3-1.
The Bisons have one last weekend of conference play against Arkansas Tech University before they reach the conference tournament. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Harrison Hunter said the team needs to continue to play hard and focus on winning each inning to make it through the last weekend of conference play and the tournament.
“We have played extremely well as a team this season; one of our biggest strengths is the team being a family,” Hunter said. “Coach McGaha and (assistant coach) Andy Schatzley are the two best coaches I’ve ever played for, and they have prepared us extremely well for the long season and what’s ahead of us. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the moments we’ve shared as a team, as well as playing each game together this season.”
Davis Richardson said he was extremely impressed with the team’s performance this past week and enjoyed catching for sophomore pitcher Collin Campbell as he threw his second consecutive shutout in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
“Our focus is always on the process and getting better a day at a time, even this late in the season,” Richardson said. “Arkansas Tech is another really good team, but we’re just going to try to get better each game and let the results fall into place. The same goes for the conference tournament; we’ll take it a game at a time when it gets here. It’s definitely going to be a fun couple of weeks.”
The team must remain in the top six in the GAC to ensure a spot in the conference tournament.
“We have not clinched a spot for sure for the tournament yet, but there would have to be a lot of crazy things happen to keep us out,” McGaha said. “We have a good enough team that if we make it over to the tournament, we have a great chance of winning it. I’m proud of what these guys have accomplished this season.”