By Jeffrey Swindoll
It was 39 degrees at No. 21 Baylor baseball’s midweek tilt against Dallas Baptist University on Tuesday night. The Patriots cooled down the Bears’ hot start to 2015 with a three-run ninth inning, making it a 9-6 final score in favor of Dallas Baptist.
Dallas Baptist jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Baylor countered with three runs in the second inning to make it 3-2. Later on, the game got sloppy. Baylor head coach Steve Smith said the cold weather was an obvious factor to the struggles both teams had.
“It’s just baseball,” Smith said. “Particularly it happens a lot early in the year. It was just an ugly game from the pitcher’s perspective, for sure on our side. There’s really not a lot you can say about it.”
The speed of Tuesday’s game did suffer a drop-off from the energy last weekend’s series had with Cal Poly. With just 13 hits between them, both teams scratched 15 runs and both pitching staffs gave up a lot of free bases. Baylor scored three runs in the fifth inning, tying the game 6-6. Dallas Baptist beaned four players in a row in that same inning.
The game hit a plateau over the last four innings. The pace was slow as careless pitching led to walks and bullpen changes.
Senior reliever Sean Spicer was coming off just winning Big 12 co-pitcher of the week honors after earning his first two career saves on Friday and Saturday. Spicer looked to put an end to Dallas Baptist’s hitting in the ninth inning, but he did just the opposite.
Spicer gave up bases off walks, hits and several wild pitches, inflicting three runs against the Bears, making it 9-6 in the final regulation frame for Baylor’s offense. The Bears could not capitalize in the final inning, ending the game with two runners on base.
“I came in with some guys on and I was just trying to compete and throw strikes and today they hit it,” Spicer said. “It happens in baseball. I’ll probably watch film on it Wednesday and then probably not think about this game for the rest of the year. We’ve got Kent State Friday and I know we’re going to go out like we’ve got something to prove.”
The Bears continue their homestand with a three-game weekend series against Kent State starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.