By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
Baylor baseball (33-17) extended its winning streak to six games and avenged a 15-9 drubbing to the UTSA on March 28 with a 10-0 shutout over the Roadrunners on Tuesday night.
In its final midweek matchup of the season, Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez went pitch by committee, as he used four pitchers to pick up the road victory.
Freshman pitcher Hayden Kettler (3-0) went the first two innings, allowing two hits with no walks and one strikeout to earn the victory. Junior Kyle Ott tossed three innings, scattering four hits with four strikeouts, junior Joe Heineman allowed three hits in two innings while striking out three. Senior Drew Robertson then closed the door with a perfect final two frames, striking out three.
This was the first time all season that the Baylor pitching staff did not allow a walk. It also recorded 11 strikeouts as a team.
Rodriguez said it has been fun for him to watch the players play with confidence and consistency.
“Our guys are in a really good place mentally, physically and emotionally, and they are really playing free,” Rodriguez said. “My job right now is to kind of stay out of the way. They are doing a good job of understanding what their roles are, executing and it’s really fun to watch.”
After a quiet weekend in Stillwater, Okla. junior outfielder Kameron Esthay got the offense going with a solo home run to lead off the second inning.
The Bears then loaded the bases with one out following a single, double and a walk. Junior shortstop Tucker Cascadden brought in a run on a fielder’s choice and sophomore outfielder T.J. Raguse ripped a single to center field, driving in the third Baylor run of the inning.
Baylor tacked on a run in the fourth when Raguse scored on an RBI single from Richard Cunningham.
The Bears kept attacking at the plate, adding two more in the sixth. After a double by sophomore second baseman Josh Bissonette, freshman catcher Andy Thomas launched a two-run home run to left field, putting Baylor up 6-0.
Senior first baseman Aaron Dodson homered to center in the seventh.
The Bears later added three more in the ninth to finish off the Roadrunners. Thomas brought in a run on a groundout and Cascadden brought in the final two runs for Baylor on a double down the third base line.
Junior pitcher Chance Kirby (1-3) took the loss on the mound for UTSA, who falls to 28-23 on the season. Kirby lasted four innings, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout.
The Roadrunners will host No. 15 Southern Mississippi in their final weekend series of the season before the start of the Conference USA tournament. The first game begins at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Baylor will return home for a three game weekend series with Kansas State. The first pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. Friday at Baylor Ballpark.