Baird walk off highlights Warriors’ weekend sweep

CONWAY — The Hendrix Warriors opened the 2024 regular season with wins over Belhaven and Westminster (Mo.) last weekend at Warrior Baseball Field.

By Rally Miller

Game 1 vs Belhaven

Hendrix defeated Belhaven on Friday afternoon in a 8-7 thriller that was capped by a Griffin Baird walk-off in the 9th. The Warriors initially trailed the Blazers 7-4 after a 3-run shot by the visitors in the 7th, but responded with a 3 spot of their own in the bottom half of the evening to even the score.

Bryson Bales toed the rubber for the Warriors on opening day and spun 4.0 innings of two hit ball with seven strikeouts. Freshman Klayton Wingfield (W, 1-0) entered in relief in the 9th and put the visitors down in order en route to a winning decision in his debut.

After Joseph Watts flew out to center field, Shaun Pope and Charlie Deaton both reached on base on balls. Baird stepped up with a runner in scoring position and sent a high fly to center field that escaped the reach of the center fielder, allowing Pope to score standing up and hand Hendrix the Opening Day win.

Game 2 vs Westminster

On Saturday, the Warriors hosted Westminster and got after the Blue Jays early.

Jacob Carpentier doubled to right field to drive in Zach Marriott. Westminster evened the score in the 4th inning, before Hendrix put up a 5-spot in the home half of the inning to take a 6-1 lead. 

Adam Bland drove in Baird and Charlie Deaton in the 7th to give the home side some insurance runs, and Drake Job capitalized on a throwing error from the catcher after a double steal and was able to plate the ninth run of the afternoon to put away Westminster for good.David Blackburn (W, 1-0) got the decision after a solid outing, only giving up one run on three hits and striking out four in 5.0 innings of work.

The Warriors were scheduled to play Westminster again on Sunday afternoon, but had their weekend finale called off due to rain and unplayable field conditions.

Up Next

Hendrix will remain in Conway to host more baseball next weekend as they welcome Centenary and Washington University in St. Louis to Warrior Baseball Field. First pitch versus Centenary is set for 4:30 PM on Friday evening at Warrior Baseball Field.