Baseball takes first Baylor Classic round with 4-2 win over UC-Irvine

No. 22 senior pitcher Trent Blank pitches against TCU on Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears beat TCU 7-1. Matthew McCarroll | Lariat Photographer

The Baylor baseball team kicked off the QTI Baylor Classic with a win over the University of California-Irvine Anteaters. The 4-2 win brings No. 25 Baylor’s record to 8-2 on the season. The winning pitcher was junior left-handed pitcher Josh Turley.

“It was a typical josh turley type of outing. I think its very much what he is like when he’s on,” head coach Steve Smith said. “

Baylor opened the scoring in the first inning. Junior third baseman Cal Towey’s RBI double to right field scored junior left fielder Nathan Orf to give the Bears an early 1-0 lead. Towey scored on the next at bat after a throwing error allowed him to reach home.

“[The pitch] was just a fastball in that I was a little ahead of. Luckily was able to keep it fair, run it down the line,” Towey said. “It feels really good [to score early]. I wish we could have kept rolling and score more runs, but it feels good knowing you can jump out on a guy. Then Turley did what he did and just rolled.”

Towey is starting the season strong for the first time in his college career. In his freshman and sophomore years, Towey slumped to start the season. This year, he is slugging .444 with three doubles and a triple.

“It’s a lot better being able to breathe. Shoot, man, those last two years were rough, but it always finds a way and evens out,” Towey said.

In the second inning, junior shortstop Jake Miller doubled down the right field line to lead off the inning. Sophomore second baseman Lawton Langford singled to third base on a bunt. Miller scored after the throw to first got by the first baseman. Langford advanced to second on the error.

On the next at bat, a wild pitch allowed Langford to reach third. Orf’s sacrifice fly to deep right field scored Langford and extend Baylor’s lead to 4-0.

In the fifth inning, junior first baseman Max Muncy singled up the middle. This extended his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 28 straight games.

In the top of the eighth inning, Turley was replaced by sophomore right-handed pitcher Dylan Newman. Turley threw seven innings, allowed four hits, one earned run and struck out six of the 29 batters he faced.

“For the most part, the first six innings I threw, everything was pretty much working well,” Turley said. “There in the seventh, I just got a little fatigued and started opening up on my front side, which was causing me to lose a little control. For the most part, I feel really good about the outing, though.”

Junior left fielder Jeff Stephens scored for UC-Irvine in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly. Newman, who entered the game with the bases loaded, got out of the jam with the score 4-1.

Newman allowed one run in the top of the ninth before closing out the win for the Bears.

Baylor will next play tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. against Lamar University. Following that game, the Bears will take on UC-Irvine again.