By Greg DeVries
No. 3 Baylor baseball returned to its winning ways with a 6-4 win over the University of Texas at Arlington Wednesday.
Senior right-handed pitcher Tyler Bremer earned the win and moves to 4-0.
“We’re dragging a little bit right now,” head coach Steve Smith said. “That’s not an excuse, that’s just reality. Probably most teams in college baseball are. All of us are getting close to finals … and I know our guys take those things [seriously]. So they’re burning at both ends.”
A two-run home run to center field in the first inning by senior left fielder Dan Evatt put the Bears on the board first. Junior designated hitter Nathan Orf crossed the plate as well, and Baylor took an early 2-0 lead.
“I knew the way the wind was blowing tonight that it was probably going to blow out,” Evatt said. “I hit it really well.”
Orf drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third inning. He advanced to third on junior third baseman Cal Towey’s single to right field. Orf scored on junior first baseman Max Muncy’s RBI groundout during the next at bat.
Two consecutive wild pitches by Bremer in the fourth inning led to the first run of the game for UTA.
Freshman left fielder Logan Brown and Towey both reached base in the bottom of the fifth inning. A wild pitch advanced them to third and second, respectively. An RBI single up the middle by Muncy scored both runs and extended Baylor’s lead to 5-1.
Junior second baseman Steve DalPorto scored from third base on a sacrifice bunt by Brown in the bottom of the sixth inning. This brought Baylor’s lead to 6-1.
Bremer pitched seven innings, allowed one earned run on four hits and struck out a career-high nine batters, including six in a row.
“That was probably, all around, the best outing I’ve had. I was only a two-pitch guy tonight. Just fastball, changeup,” Bremer said. “I was able to establish the fastball at the knees … and they were chasing the changeup all day long.”
Sophomore right-hander Dillon Newman replaced him in the sixth. Newman faced two batters and allowed two hits before junior left-handed pitcher Crayton Bare took the mound.
UTA added another run in the top of the eighth inning. With base runners threatening to add more runs, Bare was able to get out of the jam.
DalPorto and sophomore catcher Nate Goodwin both reached base in the bottom of the eighth inning. Towey loaded the bases after being hit by the pitch. With the bases loaded, Muncy flew out to left-center to end the inning, and Baylor took its 6-2 lead into the top of the ninth inning.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Joe Kirkland came in to close out the ninth inning. Kirkland retired one batter, but was pulled after allowing two batters to reach base. Junior right-handed pitcher Max Garner took the mound to close out the game.
Garner walked two consecutive batters to load the bases and score a run for the Mavericks. A wild pitch scored the runner from third and advanced the two other runners. This cut Baylor’s lead to 6-4.
With the tying run on second, Garner recorded a strikeout for the second out of the inning. He forced the final batter to groundout to first and seal the victory for the Bears. The save was Garner’s ninth of the season.
The Bears are now 35-8 overall and will take on New Mexico State at Baylor Ballpark on Friday at 6:35 p.m.