By Jeffrey Swindoll
Baylor baseball found its second win in a row on Wednesday after handling the UT-Arlington Mavericks 6-2 at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington. The Bears used a powerful start from the offense and stout pitching throughout the game.
Both teams earned a decent amount of hits for run supply, but each side struggled to get their players home in the later innings. Baylor had the better opening moments from its offense and superior pitching and ended up winning the game.
With some key pitchers out of the lineup, freshmen pitchers Theron Kay and Troy Montemayor led the way for the Bears on the road. Kay pitched seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs. The Mavericks’ grand total of two runs came in the first inning from Kay. Baylor’s pitching did not allow any other runs and very few hits for the rest of the game.
Kay pitched near-perfect frames for six innings before head coach Steve Smith looked to the bullpen to relieve Kay. Montemayor took over the game for the Bears from the eighth inning, giving up just three hits and zero runs. Just four players from UTA ended the night with at least one hit compared to Baylor’s widespread hit production.
“Theron [Kay] certainly was on his game,” Smith said. “After the first inning, he really settled and pitched it really well, and Troy [Montemayor] came in and was able to finish it off at the end. We’re very thin in the bullpen right now so the margin of error was small for those two freshmen. It was big for them to do what they did.”
The Mavericks’ pitching was generally solid too. It was simply a worse start for them than for the Bears. Baylor earned their only runs in the entire game in the first and second inning, scoring three in each.
UTA freshman pitcher Kyle Laberge carries more responsibility than anybody for the loss. Laberge allowed eight hits and gave up all six of the Bears’ runs against 15 batters faced. The Mavericks took Laberge midway from the second inning, bringing on junior pitcher Jacob Moreland. Moreland allowed just three hits and pitched four strikeouts in five innings, but the damage was done.
Most of the Bears’ offense occurred in the first two innings, punishing Laberge for a start that was all-too-easy for the Bears on the bats.
Senior outfielder Logan Brown went 1-4 and scored one of the Bears’ runs. Senior first baseman Duncan Wendel had two RBIs off two hits and five at-bats. Junior infielder Mitch Price posted a team-leading three hits with one run and one RBI. Sophomore first baseman Aaron Dodson went 1-5. Freshman third baseman Jonathan Ducoff posted three RBIs from five at-bats. Freshman outfielder Levi Gilcrease picked up two hits and one run with four at-bats.
The Mavericks took advantage of the non-conference weight of the game and substituted a few players into the game, as did Baylor. UTA threw in two more pitchers in addition to Laberge and Moreland. Senior pitchers Zach Hobbs and TJ Whidby pitched one inning apiece. Sophomore outfielder Ryan Romo and sophomore infielder Hayden Ross saw playing time for Baylor later in the game.
Baylor plays a three-game series against Oklahoma starting on Friday at Baylor Ballpark.