Baseball wins home opener over Texas State 6-3
By Daniel Hill
The Baylor Bears earned their first win of the season by defeating the Texas State Bobcats 6-3 at Baylor Ballpark Tuesday night. The Bears’ overall record is now 1-3 heading into a weekend series against UCLA at home.
The Bears came out early in the top of the first and made some uncharacteristic mistakes defensively.
“I think it’s normal coming out first game at home and you’ve got your home fans here and everyone is going to be a little amped up,” junior second basemen Lawton Langford said. “You got some butterflies and just want to make the big play so you almost do a little bit too much so I think we all settled down and started playing like us again.”
Langford committed an error on a ground ball near second base when he could have possibly had a double-play ball. Instead Langford bobbled the ball and couldn’t get the runner out at either second or first.
With runners on second and first, Texas State hit a hard liner into left field. Sophomore left fielder Adam Toth let the ball get past him and that error allowed Texas State to score the first run of the game.
In the bottom of the first, Langford made up for his defensive error at second base by hitting a double which brought in a Baylor run. This gave Baylor some momentum and helped calm down the Bears after a rough start to the game and a rocky start to the season.
In the second inning, Baylor exploded for four runs. Sophomore first basemen Duncan Wendel singled to center, and senior shortstop Jake Miller doubled to right field.
Sophomore center fielder Logan Brown hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Wendel. Junior catcher Nate Goodwin followed with a single to drive in Miller. This gave Baylor a 3-1 lead.
The Bears extended the lead when senior right fielder Nathan Orf hit a high fly ball down the right field line.
The ball landed just inside the foul line and it allowed Toth to score all the way from first. Orf was able to score to give the Bears a 5-1 lead.
The Bears tacked on one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth by playing small ball.
Brown started off the inning with a hard single to center field. Brown advanced to third when catcher Nate Goodwin put down a sacrifice bunt, and Brown got to third on Toth’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Orf put down a sacrifice bunt down the third base line to score Logan Brown from third. On the mound for the Bears, sophomore right-handed pitcher Sean Spicer made his first career start.
Spicer went three solid innings for the Bears and only allowed one run.
“It was fun,” Spicer said. “I was pretty excited out there tog et my first start. I was maybe a little too amped up. Velocity kind of peaked in the first inning but I tried to settle down a little bit and just relax and throw strikes.”
The Bears improved their record to 1-3.
It’s always key to get the win, but the team also has plenty of room to grow.
“I think, given how the game was played on our side with the errors and the number of walks , it’s pretty amazing that we won,” Baylor head coach Steve Smith said. “It’s a hard way to win a game when they get as many base-runners as they did. But I think in hindsight, I think we made a lot of pitches with runners out there and got some outs doing it…I really was pleasantly surprised and pleased to see how Sean Spicer handled the start. That’s a first career start for the guy and he did look like he was a little amped up to me. He was working really fast and he might’ve spent some energy just dealing with the emotions of it but he got after it.”
The Bears next play at 6:35 p.m. Friday against UCLA at the Baylor Ballpark.
After a three-game series with UCLA, Baylor will play one game with Pepperdine before heading down to Houston for The Astros In Action College Classic.