By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Baylor baseball (32-17, 11-10) worked its way back to a winning record in Big 12 play by collecting a road sweep of Oklahoma State over the weekend. The Bears bested the Cowboys 9-3 Friday, 3-2 on Saturday and made a late inning rally to win 8-7 on Sunday.
Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said that his team battled from start to finish and the result of the work paid off in the sweep.
“We did all of the little things to win this game,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just really proud of our guys for the way they played from the first pitch until the last pitch.”
The Bears and Cowboys exchanged blows all afternoon on Sunday.
Baylor answered with two in the fourth and two in the fifth. Senior first baseman Aaron Dodson brought home the first run in the fourth and the Bears got a second one on an Oklahoma State error. Freshman catcher Shea Langeliers then hit a two-run home run to left, extending the lead to 5-2.
Oklahoma State refused to go away, tacking on two in fifth and three more in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead.
Baylor battled back with three in the eighth on RBI singles by sophomore second baseman Josh Bissonette and junior shortstop Tucker Cascadden. Cunningham then scored the go ahead run on a bases loaded walk.
Junior closer Troy Montemayor allowed one hit and a walk but got the five out save, his 12th of the year to preserve the victory and the sweep for the Bears.
Friday’s game was met with less resistance as Baylor senior pitcher Nick Lewis (6-4) tossed six sharp innings against the Cowboys in a 9-3 win. He allowed just one run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Rodriguez said that Lewis’ work on the mound was as good as it had been all season against the Cowboys.
“It was really powerful to watch the quality of pitches he had and some of the swings they were taking,” Rodriguez said. “He just did a phenomenal job of keeping them off balance and doing what he needed to do.”
Cunningham and Langeliers led the way offensively, each driving in a pair of runs for Baylor.
Sophomore left fielder T.J. Raguse and Cunningham got the scoring going for Baylor in the third inning with RBI singles. The Bears took advantage of the first of three Oklahoma State errors to scratch across a run in the fourth. Bissonette and Cascadden both tallied RBI singles in the frame, putting Baylor up 5-0 after four innings.
In the sixth, the Bears got an RBI double from Cunningham, a two-run single to center field by Langeliers and an RBI single from senior designated hitter Matt Menard to finish the scoring for Baylor.
Oklahoma State got one back in the sixth on a double play ball where the Bears conceded the run and two more in the eighth on a two run pinch hit single by junior outfielder Bryce Fischer.
On Saturday, Baylor got another strong performance on the hill from junior Montana Parsons (5-2) and did all of its damage via the long ball as the Bears held off the Cowboys 3-2.
Parson went six scoreless innings, allowing six hits and three walks and struck out six.
Oklahoma State threatened in the second, putting runners on second and third with nobody out but Parson worked his way out of the jam, inducing a weak pop up, a routine groundout and a key strikeout.
Parsons was also the beneficiary of some solid defense behind him, inducing three double plays balls to help keep the Cowboys off the scoreboard.
Rodriguez said that Parsons’ calm demeanor is key to his success on the mound.
“Whether there are guys on base or nobody on base, I don’t know if Montana Parsons’ heart rate ever gets above 75,” Rodriguez said. “But that’s what makes him really good – he can maintain that composure and ability to control his actions.”
Baylor did all its damage in the third inning. With Langeliers on first after a single, Dodson launched a two run home run to center field. Two pitches later, freshman third baseman Davis Wendzel homered to left, making it 3-0 Baylor.
Oklahoma State got two back in the seventh inning on a two-run home run by Cowboys’ Boone, cutting the lead to 3-2 but the Baylor bullpen did not allow any further damage.
Montemayor completed a four out save for his 11th of the season as the right-hander closed the door on Oklahoma State for good.
Baylor will remain on the road with UTSA. The roadrunners defeated the Bears in Waco 15-9 on March 28.
First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday.