By Daniel Hill
The Baylor Bears defeated the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 4-2 Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark. Senior third basemen Cal Towey and senior shortstop Jake Miller both had RBIs for the Bears, and Baylor scored two more unearned runs off of Louisiana Tech errors. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Sean Spicer was the starting pitcher for the Bears, but junior right-handed pitcher Josh Michalec actually ended up earning the win.
“I thought Sean, for his second career start, as much as he’s struggled, he didn’t spit up the bit,” head coach Steve Smith said. “He got us through five innings and really Michalec came in and got a big out when he came in and then we were able to get a few more outs behind it. I think [Bobby] McCormack probably when I used him, was probably not the best time to use him, but he was my one left that was up and they forced his hand a little bit.”
The scoring started in the bottom of the first inning for Baylor after a comedy of errors from Louisiana Tech.
Baylor leadoff batter sophomore center-fielder Logan Brown started off by drawing a walk.
Baylor’s best hitter, with a .511 batting average, senior right-fielder Nathan Orf was given two extra chances to continue his at-bat after two Louisiana Tech errors. Orf hit a pop-up into foul territory midway to right-field and Louisiana Tech dropped the easy pop-up for a would-be out. Later in the at-bat, Orf popped up another foul ball. This ball went high above the field and into foul territory behind home plate. The catcher thought he had a read on the ball then backpedaled to try to make the catch, but he never got a glove on the ball.
“I think that was a first, but I was pretty happy that they gave it to me,” Orf said. “They gave me more opportunities to get a hit and I ended up getting a hit.”
Orf blasted the ball on a rope to left field. The left-fielder misplayed the ball and it got past him easily. This allowed Brown to score and Orf made it all the way to third base to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
With senior third basemen Cal Towey at the plate, Louisiana Tech threw a wild pitch. Orf scored from third base on the play for the Bears ‘second run of the inning.
Towey was hit by a pitch in his at-bat, and then sophomore first basemen Duncan Wendel singled to center field. Another fielding error allowed Towey to get to third.
Senior shortstop Jake Miller hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and this brought in Towey from third to give Baylor a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning with runners on first and second, Bulldogs senior designated hitter Taylor Terrasas hit a deep double to the wall in left-field and that gave the Bulldogs their only two runs of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Baylor tacked on one more insurance run. Sophomore left fielder Adam Toth singled to the hole between the shortstop and the third basemen, and the shortstop made an athletic play just to get to the ball. Toth was able to outrun the play and was safe at first. Orf singled to left field which moved Toth to third base. Towey hit a grounder to the first basemen and was out at first, but Toth was able to score on the fielder’s choice to give Baylor a 4-2 lead.
Sophomore Ryan Smith came in to pitch the last two and two-thirds innings and didn’t allow a single hit. This preserved the lead and the win for the Bears.
“I just really try to take it one pitch at a time and don’t try to do too much of something or try too hard,” Smith said. “I just try to trust my ability and preparation and just throw strikes and make the bat move.”
Baylor and Louisiana Tech will meet at 4:05 p.m. today at Baylor Ballpark to conclude the two-game series.