Witzke finds a comfort zone in Arkansas | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo Submitted by Kaitlyn Cutshall: Humboldt graduate Chris Witzke is hitting for Harding University in Arkansas.

SEARCY, Ark. –Chris Witzke found himself looking for a new home to pursue his baseball career after notable stints at Humboldt and Des Moines Area Community College.

Witzke landed at Harding University, a member of the NCAA Div. II Great American Conference.

And Harding gave the fifth-year senior a chance to shine.

Recently, Witzke broke a school record, recording a hit for the 16th straight game in a doubleheader with ranked Southern Arkansas at home.

With a field single on his second at bat, Witzke broke the previous mark set by Billy Ninemire.

“It means a lot to me to break a record like this because it’s unique in how consistent you have to be every day,” said Witzke. “It was also difficult in the fact that once you’re in a game or two, the pressure from each batsman builds on each other.

“But such pressure is a privilege and you just have to find a way to do it.”

Over the last 16 games, Witzke has been on a tear, hitting .400 (26 for 65). He leads the team with a .347 average on the year to go along with 27 RBIs, four doubles, six steals, three triples, one homer and 25 runs scored.

Last year, Witzke hit .331 with nine doubles, 20 RBIs and a pair of home runs for Harding.

“(Coming to Harding) was the right decision for me because we have a good program with a strong culture,” he said. “It’s also a highly regarded business school.”

Harding (22-14 overall, 13-11 in the league) will host Mississippi College on Tuesday and Northwestern Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday. The GAC tournament is scheduled for May 7-10.

“This season has been exciting for many reasons,” said Witzke. “We’ve played some of our best baseball in big playoffs, and we’ve also had a lot of guys who’ve been in the program for a few years who really stepped up and played big roles.

“This season has been crazy in so many ways. We’ve had some really hot streaks as well as some cold snaps, but we’re right where we need to be sitting in third place in the conference with a big homestand against Arkansas Tech.

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