WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State's Jared Baker fired in 10 birdies to continue his string of strong play Monday at the Dallas Baptist Patriot Classic played at the par-72, 7,023-yard Hackberry Creek Country Club.
The Holliday product carded his ninth and 10th par-or-better scores of the season turning in a 70 and 72 for a 2-under 142. Baker is tied for eighth heading into Tuesday's final round four strokes behind Steven Anderson of Texas Wesleyan.
As a team, the Mustangs followed up an even-par team total of 288 with a 6-over 294 to stand seventh through 36 holes at 582.
The top two teams in NAIA dominated the opening day of the DBU Patriot Classic as Texas Wesleyan (285-279 564/-12) holds a stroke advantage over Oklahoma City, which carded an immaculate 13-under 275 in Monday's second round.
MSU junior Trip Hobson carded a pair of team countable scores following up a 74 with his second par-or-better tally of the season at 72 to tie for 25th with a 2-over total of 146.
Fellow junior Dominick Haskins recorded his third par-or-better score with an opening round of 70 before notching a 78 in the second go-around to tie for 35th with a 4-over 148.
Senior Thomas Smith delivered consistency with marks of 75 and 74 to tie for 42nd with a 5-over total of 149, while sophomore Clayton Meyers notched two team countable scores firing rounds of 74 and 76 to tie for 51st with a 6-over 150.
The third and final round of the DBU Patriot Classic begins with a shotgun start Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Midwestern State was impressive on the greens in Monday's opening round at West Texas A&M's Desert Invitational played at the par-72, 5,949-yard course at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon.
The strength allowed the Mustangs to fight to finish with a 33-over team total of 321 to stand ninth going into Tuesday's final round which begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. (Central Time).
"Without exception, everyone had issues off of the tee," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "We made plenty of pars, but we couldn't avoid the big number. A lot of the course is out-of-bounds or native area. We weren't good enough off of the tee to avoid the areas to escape with a quality score."
Senior Sierra Campbell offset a pair of birdies by taking on three double bogies to finish with a team-best 79 (+7) to tie for 34th, while junior Sarah Moore cruised through her first 11 holes at 2-over before enduring a 10 on the par-5, 564-yard 18th hole.
Moore produced pars on six of her last seven holes to salvage an 8-over 80 to tie for 38th.
Senior Hayley Dambold (one birdie, two double bogeys) and freshman Alexis Read (two birdies, two double bogeys) logged MSU's final two team countable rounds with a 8-over 81 to tie for 42nd.
Freshman Cheleen Cousins notched pars on eight holes on the Back Nine, but struggled to an 8-over effort on the front side to tie for 46th with a 10-over 82.
"Every girl had those two or three holes," Ray said. "Coming in, I was more concerned with putting, but the girls did a good job of reading the greens and controlling their speed."
Dallas Baptist and St. Mary's (Texas) top the team leader board with matching 9-over totals of 297.
St. Mary's Paige Weiss marked the only under-par score of the first round with a 71 to take a two-stroke lead over Dallas Baptist's Ann Parmerter heading into the final round.
"Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully we'll come back and close the gap on a few teams," Ray said.
The 29th Annual Maroon vs. Gold Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 8 at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
Admission is free and hot dogs will be available at no cost. Pregame festivities start at 4 p.m. including Kids' Zone, music and an opportunity to kick for a $5,000 cash prize.
The MSU Bookstore will be on location with your MSU gear. Meet student-athletes, coaches and Maverick T. Mustang the mascot. The Mustangs Shuttle will run from the campus to the stadium in back from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday.
Maroon leads the recent series by a 7-4 margin in results dating back to 2006.
Last season, Layton Rabb passed for 287 yards and three touchdowns to lead Maroon to a 38-31 win in a that featured 945 yards of combined offense including 694 through the air.
Each of Rabb's TD passes came after halftime as the Llano product hit Tyrique Edwards (34), Breion Evans (48) and Gary Farquhar for scores to foil two valiant comeback efforts by the Gold squad.
Quade Coward connected on 17-of-33 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns for Gold, but also thew a pair of interceptions.
Midwestern State posted its 17th consecutive winning season last fall while advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the seventh time in program history with an 8-3 record.