By Jeffrey Swindoll
Baylor baseball extended its agonizing road losing streak to ten straight games after falling 4-3 to the Sam Houston State Bearkats Tuesday.
Freshman left-hander Daniel Castano started for the Bears. Castano has been Baylor head coach Steve Smith’s primary choice for midweek games since the start of the season. Castano has held up his end of the deal to put the Bears in position to win each time he steps on the mound.
Castano gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings, throwing four strikeouts. The Bearkats struck in the second inning with a run, putting the pressure on Castano early on.
The Bears stringed some plays together though in the fourth inning to take the 3-1 lead.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, senior shortstop Brett Doe popped up an infield sac fly, giving the Bears an unearned tying run. The Bearkats handed the Bears a couple more gifts in the fourth.
Freshman outfielder Darryn Sheppard, who started on first base, stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch from the Bearkats. Sophomore outfielder West Tunnell was walked and did the same as Sheppard — steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch.
After the Bearkats’ errors and giving up a run in the second inning, the Bears found themselves in the lead at the end of the fourth inning, 3-2.
Junior right-handed pitcher Sean Spicer came in for the seventh inning, but after giving up two runs and two hits in 0.2 innings, he was soon told by Smith to take a seat. It was too late in the game to risk giving up more hits, and Smith was simply trying to stop the bleeding so the Bears could get back into the game.
After Spicer left the mound, senior left-hander Doug Ashby came in to close the game for the Bears. The Bearkats (22-11) had already gotten the hits and runs they needed out of Baylor pitching though. Ashby ended the night giving up only one hit and throwing one strikeout.
Baylor’s offense had a slow night with four hits.
The Bears (15-17, 4-7) conclude their five-game road trip this weekend with a series at Dallas Baptist (23-9, 5-1). Game one starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Horner Ballpark.