By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
The Baylor baseball team dropped a midweek game to Lamar 11-1 Wednesday at Baylor Ballpark to drop to 1-5 in their last six games.
The Bears (19-10) gave up eight runs in the first three innings and never recovered against the Cardinals (17-13).
Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez says the team’s pitching and defense was not what he wanted to see.
“We didn’t make great pitches,” Rodriguez said. “We had an opportunity to make plays on defense. We walked too many guys and they took advantage of it.”
The Cardinals wasted no time getting on the board. Right fielder Cutter McDowell launched a double off of starting pitcher Alex Phillips on the second pitch of the game and Reid Russell followed with a single to put two on base. Robin Adames hit a grounder to the infield and the Bears converted on a double play, but McDowell made it home to put Lamar up 1-0.
Lamar kept the offense rolling into the second with Trey Silvers driving s single down the middle and scoring off a sac-fly from Bryndan Arredondo to put the Cardinals up 2-0.
With the Cardinals back at the top of the order, Phillips walked McDowell to load the bases. With two outs, Russell launched a grand slam past the left field wall to extend the lead to 6-0.
In the top of the third, Phillips again found himself in a bases loaded situation. Rodriguez didn’t take chances this time, relieving Phillips and putting freshman Hayden Kettler on the mound.
Lamar’s Phil Ingram hit a single down the left field line to drive in two and put the Cardinals up 8-0.
In the bottom of the third, Baylor junior shortstop Tucker Cascadden dropped a double to left field and then scored on back-to-back ground outs by sophomore outfielder T.J. Raguse and senior designated hitter Matt Menard to make it a 8-1 game.
The Bears offense continued to struggle throughout the game, but found some rhythm in the bottom of the sixth. Junior outfielder Kameron Esthay walked and senior first baseman Aaron Dodson hit a single to put two on base. Freshman third baseman Davis Wendzel bunted to advance the two runners but sophomore outfielder Josh Bissonette‘s pop out was caught to strand the Baylor runners.
Junior relief pitcher Joe Heineman came to the mound to start the seventh and allowed zero hits while recording two strikeouts in the inning.
Robertson managed two outs and got some help from the defense when Raguse made a diving catch in left field to end the inning.
Freshman relief pitcher Daniel Caruso came in during the ninth to attempt to finish off the game for the Bears. Arredondo added to his RBI on the night with a three-run homer to put Lamar up 11-1. Following the score, Rodriguez sent freshman Hunter Seay to the mound.
Rodriguez says the silver lining of a loss like this is to see some of the young pitchers get experience.
“That’s one of the great things about some of these [Wednesday] games,” Rodriguez said. “Its nice to see Heineman have a another good outing and see Kettler do what he did. Being able to get Leckich and Seay in there, hopefully that will help us down the stretch.”
The Bears look to win their first Big 12 series this weekend as they face Texas Tech in a three game series in Lubbock.