By Krista Pirtle
Nine innings with no walks thrown by Baylor’s pitching staff helped secure a 6-1 Bears win over UT Arlington Tuesday night.
“It’s big,” senior Jon Ringenberg said. “Especially on Tuesday nights to be able to bounce back and get a win; especially against a good team like UTA. It was big for us.”
Ringenberg started off strong for the Bears, stepping on the mound for the first time in two weeks after suffering a minor groin injury. He worked with only two pitches, his fastball and change-up, to shake the batters off balance.
UTA’s Calan Pritchard took the loss after a three-inning, four-run night.
The only run on the afternoon for the Mavericks came in the top of the second when second baseman Brian Nephew caught hold of a hanging changeup by Ringenberg and hit it over the left field wall with the wind’s assistance.
The Maverick bats were mostly silent throughout the rest of the game, thanks to a strong showing from the Baylor bullpen, made up of freshman Brad Kuntz, junior Tyler Bremer, and sophomores Kolt Browder and Max Garner.
Senior catcher Joey Hainsfurther was pleased with his pitchers’ performances Tuesday.
“It was good for Jon to get out there and go to work like he can,” Hainsfurther said. “The bullpen came out and did a great job filling up the zone. I know when we got behind in the count we made them put the ball in play, and that’s what we’re trying to do because you’re not trying to go for a strikeout when [the count is] 3-0. So for them to come back several times like they did and make [UTA] put the ball in play was very positive.”
As for the offensive side, coach Steve Smith said he never felt like the game truly ever broke open, even with a four-run fourth inning by the Bears.
After a four-pitch walk to junior Josh Ludy, Hainsfuther hit a triple out to center field, scoring Ludy. Senior Chris Slater then stepped in the box and hit a single up the middle to score Hainsfurther. Sophomore Jake Miller was next and got a single to advance Slater to second. UTA pitcher Michael Oberto’s balk advanced the Bears’ base runners to third and second. The sophomore Cal Towey hit a single up the middle, scoring Slater, and senior Landis Ware hit a sac fly to left field to score Miller.
“It wasn’t a great day for us offensively, but it was good to see Chris Slater swing it pretty good,” Smith said. “It was good to see that out of him. [Brooks] Pinckard brings it every game. He’s one of the guys you don’t have to flip a coin over. You know what you’re going to get. Sometimes you get things you don’t expect. We need more guys to bring their game on a more consistent basis.”
After the topsy-turvy weekend Baylor had last weekend, losing two of three games to Texas Tech, the team knows what it needs to work on as it advances further into Big 12 play.
“We’ve got to get better at the back of ballgames, obviously,” Smith said. “We’ve learned that.”
Next for the Bears is a three-game series against Kansas State starting Friday at Baylor Ballpark.