By Daniel Hill
The Baylor Bears defeated UT Arlington on Tuesday night 14-4 at Baylor Ballpark. The win gives the Bears a winning record of 17-16.
Offensively, the Bears racked up 21 hits as a team and capitalized on a seven-run sixth inning to go on to win by the 10-run rule. The Bears were held scoreless before the offense suddenly caught fire in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Baylor went with sophomore right-handed pitcher Sean Spicer on the mound to start the game. Spicer went two innings for Baylor and yielded a three-run home run to UT Arlington before head coach Steve Smith went to the bullpen to start the second inning.
Junior left-handed pitcher Doug Ashby threw two scoreless frames for the Bears, and then junior right-handed pitcher Josh Michalec followed up by throwing three scoreless innings and striking out seven batters.
In the top of the eighth, the Bears regular starting shortstop, senior Jake Miller, took the mound to pitch for the first time since high school. Miller only gave up two hits and one run in his only inning of work. Miller also had a productive game at the plate by going 4-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
“Miller just kept fouling them off until he hit the gap out there,” Smith said. “It was a really, really good at-bat. He’s seeing it well. He looks like he’s comfortable at the plate. He played good shortstop and we’ve been throwing him in bullpens, looking for the opportunity to do what we did tonight and he’s got a good arm and he’s got good life on the ball.”
The Bears earned their first run on the night when junior left fielder Grayson Porter singled to left field to score senior right fielder Nathan Orf. Miller followed up with a three-run double that cleared the bases, then senior third basemen Cal Towey doubled to left to score Miller from second. The hits kept coming as Orf roped a single to left field to bring in two more runs and give the Bears a sudden 7-3 lead.
“I felt like we were knocking on the door long before the sixth inning,” Miller said. “I know we grounded into at least two double plays that ended the inning.”
In the bottom of the seventh, the Bears increased the lead to 12-3 after senior first basemen Steve DalPorto bunted and the first basemen dropped the ball. One run scored on the play, and then Miller singled to center to bring in another Baylor run. With the bases loaded, Towey drew a walk to score another, and then Orf singled to left to bring in two more.
In the eighth inning, the Bears took a 14-4 lead which ended the game by the 10-run rule. Sophomore outfielder Logan Brown hit a sacrifice fly to score one run. Orf then singled and the Mavericks’ third baseman made a throwing error to bring in the final winning run for Baylor.
Orf was 5-5 on the night with 4 RBIs and one run. Porter went 3-4. Towey and Brown both went 2-4.
It was a team win for the Bears and they look to carry the momentum to this weekend when they host Oklahoma for a three-game series.
Baylor has a winning record at 17-16 for the first time since it was 7-6 twenty games ago.
“I guess it’s good, we wish our record was way better than [17-16], but we really don’t pay much attention to that,” Orf said. “We’re just looking forward to the weekend and hopefully we stay on this side of the winning column.”