By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor baseball dropped a 9-5 decision to Texas in the series opener Friday in Austin.
The Bears (14-14, 3-7) jumped out to an early lead, but ultimately fell to the Longhorns (20-12, 7-3) despite an offensive outburst from junior designated hitter Richard Cunningham.
Freshman shortstop Nick Loftin notched a leadoff single in the first inning, and Cunningham followed up with a two-run homer to put the Bears up 2-0.
Baylor scored two more runs with junior left fielder T.J. Raguse and Loftin each converting RBI singles to put the Bears up 4-0 in the top of the second inning.
Sophomore starting pitcher Hayden Kettler pitched two scoreless innings to start the game, but gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning as the Longhorns cut the lead to 4-2.
Kettler struggled in the bottom of the fourth, giving up three hits that resulted in four runs as Texas took a 6-4 lead. Senior reliever Joe Heineman stepped up to finish off the Longhorns’ bats and end the fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth inning, Cunningham launched his second homer of the game to cut the lead to 6-5.
Heineman pitched a scoreless inning in the sixth and the Bears sent out senior reliever Drew Robertson, who struck out the side in the seventh to keep it at 6-5.
Senior closer Troy Montemayor took the mound in the bottom of the eighth, but gave up three runs on five hits and an error as the Longhorns took a 9-5 lead heading into the final frame.
The Bears could not muster any offense in the ninth inning as Texas took the 9-5 win.
Cunningham finished with a career high four hits and two home-runs while also notching three RBIs.
The Bears look to rebound against the Longhorns at 4 p.m. Saturday in Austin.