By Greg DeVries
No. 8 Baylor baseball reached 15 wins in a row after beating the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 7-5 Tuesday.
The Bears moved to 26-7 overall with the win. Freshman right-handed pitcher Ryan Smith earned the win for Baylor.
The Warhawks tallied three runs in the top of the second inning to jump out to an early lead.
The Bears responded with three consecutive singles by senior left fielder Dan Evatt, junior third baseman Cal Towey and sophomore shortstop Jake Miller to load the bases for freshman right fielder Adam Toth. Toth’s sacrifice fly to left field scored a run and advanced Towey to third.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Smith took the mound for Tyler Bremer in the top of the third inning. Smith struck out two batters in the inning and did not allow an earned run until the sixth inning.
“Early, my fastball [was working],” Smith said. “Later on, I just kept throwing breaking balls and they were getting themselves out. It was a lot of fun.”
Smith pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits.
“His pitch count was nothing. He was very efficient. I didn’t go into this game thinking that anybody was going to throw four-plus innings,” head coach Steve Smith said. “The thing I thought he was really good at was locating fastballs down.”
Senior catcher Josh Ludy singled to start the bottom of the third. Junior center fielder Logan Vick hit his Big 12-leading 15th double of the season. With runners on second and third, Louisiana-Monroe pitcher Alex Hermeling balked to score Ludy and advance Vick to third, cutting the lead to 3-2. With two outs, Towey singled to right field to score Vick from third and tie the game at three.
The Bears loaded the bases again in the top of the fourth inning. Junior first baseman Max Muncy broke the tie on an RBI fielder’s choice that gave the Bears a 4-3 lead.
The Warhawks tied the game after Toth committed an error in right field. The next batter was able to score the runner at third, giving Louisiana-Monroe a 5-4 lead.
With the bases loaded in the sixth, Muncy singled up the middle to score two runs and help the Bears regain the lead. Ludy hit a deep sacrifice fly ball to center field that scored a run, giving Baylor a 7-5 lead.
“[We] are treating it as a game and [we] not getting worked up about being down early,” Towey said. “[The scoreboard] doesn’t matter until it’s over.”
Sophomore left-hander Brad Kuntz closed out the game in the ninth inning. Baylor will next take on Louisiana-Monroe at 4:05 p.m. today at Baylor Ballpark.