By Jeffrey Swindoll
Baylor baseball fell 4-3 to Sam Houston State Wednesday night at Baylor Ballpark just after beating the Bearkats by the same score in extra innings on Tuesday. Baylor (7-13, 0-3) recently ended its 10-game losing streak only to win one game before returning to the losing column. Wednesday night’s game was Baylor’s second of two games in-between its conference schedule. This weekend the Bears host West Virginia at Baylor Ballpark.
The Bearkats’ four-run fourth inning ended up being just enough to hold off the Bears from claiming two-straight wins. The Bears’ comeback effort looked like it would send the game to extras once more, scoring their third run in the ninth inning with position to get the tying run.
Junior shortstop Justin Arrington smacked a double to right field, bringing freshman infielder Steven McLean home. The Bears’ rally was extinguished two pitches later. Freshman outfielder Levi Gilcrease flied out to right field to end the game.
Sophomore pitcher Drew Tolson got the nod for the start from head coach Steve Smith. Tolson pitched a near-perfect three innings to begin the game, only allowing one hit in the third inning. The Bearkats broke through Baylor’s pitching in the fourth inning though, scoring four runs with four hits and one error off Tolson (0-4).
The Bears chipped away at Sam Houston’s lead in the sixth inning, scoring two runs. Baylor’s pitching sustained its hopes for completing the comeback long enough, disallowing any more runs being scored by the Bearkats. The Bears’ offense couldn’t finish the job though.
“We fought. We didn’t do enough offensively, but give their guys some credit for that,” Smith said. “They had two young right-handers who pitched pretty well. We had one inning defensively where we don’t make a pretty routine play, then we’re out of position on a hit-and-run, and that led to all four of their runs. It is what it is – we’re not very good sometimes. We pitched it very well. We’re getting a lot of mileage out of some guys that are just competing.”