By Matt Larsen
Baylor baseball saw a promising two-run lead slip away as Sam Houston State tied it and finished their come-from-behind 3-2 win with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th Tuesday in Huntsville.
The Bears (17-13) wasted no time in putting the pressure on Bearkats’ (20-11) starter Cody Dickson.
After the freshman hit sophomore Max Muncy, junior Joey Hainsfurther sent Muncy over to third with a single and junior Josh Ludy walked to load the bases.
Dickson retired the next two Baylor hitters, however, to escape from the top of the first while stranding three.
Dickson would not get away unscathed in the second, though.
Sophomore Jake Miller drove a single up the middle and then scored when senior Chris Slater knocked an RBI double into the gap in left center field to take a 1-0 lead.
Much like his team’s offense, Baylor senior Jon Ringenberg got to work early. Ringenberg’s last outing saw him walk home the game-winning run against Kansas on Saturday, and the starter was ready to bounce that memory from his mind.
Ringenberg struck out four of the seven batters he faced in the first two innings, giving up no hits and walking just one.
In the third he stranded the Bearkats’ first base runner in scoring position and took a seat for the night after giving up just the one hit and a walk in his three innings of work.
Muncy again took a pitch to the helmet in the fifth. This time the Bears capitalized on the errant Bearkat pitch.
Ludy sent the 1-1 pitch to deep left-center where it hit three-quarters up the wall, resulting in a double that brought Muncy home for a 2-0 lead.
The Bearkats seemed to be mounting a response in the bottom of the fifth after catcher Doug Oney bunted his way on and advanced to third on a Kevin Miller double down the left field line with just one out.
Freshman Dillon Newman retired the next two hitters though, and Newman’s successor, fellow freshman Trae Davis, struck out shortstop Braeden Riley to end a sixth inning threat.
The Bearkats finally got to the Bears’ pitching staff in the eighth as Greg Olsen doubled off sophomore Max Garner.
Ryan Mooney sent the very next pitch bouncing hard off Garner’s throwing arm and into left field for another double that brought Olsen home. Garner would go to the locker room to be further examined while junior Brooks Pinckard took the mound.
Pinckard earned the remaining three outs but not without watching Mooney advance to third on a groundball and score on a sac fly to tie it 2-2.
Pinckard sent three straight back to the dugout in the ninth to send it to extra innings.
The Bears managed to get runners on the corners in the top of the tenth but could not convert them to runs.
The Bearkats did not miss their opportunity in the bottom of the inning. A hit, a throwing error and a walk led to bases loaded and no outs. Pinckard managed to get one out but Braeden Riley completed the comeback with a walk-off RBI single into left center.
Sophomore Michael Burchett earned the win for keeping Baylor scoreless in the last three innings while Pinckard was tagged with the loss.