By Jeffrey Swindoll
One inning was all it took for UTSA to trump the visiting Baylor Bears in San Antonio on Tuesday. The Roadrunners blasted Baylor in the fifth inning with a whopping six runs. It was the only inning the Roadrunners scored. The Bears never recovered from the devastating fifth inning.
UTSA rotated five pitchers into the lineup, all but one held the Bears below two hits apiece. Baylor featured three pitchers on the mound, two of which shut the Roadrunners down for most of the game. Freshman pitcher Theron Kay had pitched four innings of zeroes until giving up two runs in the fifth inning.
Kay put the Bears in a dangerous place. Head coach Steve Smith called on junior pitcher Kody Hessemer to replace Kay, but this only made matters worse. Hessemer ended up giving the Roadrunners four more runs in the same inning. The damage was done. The Bears found themselves in a four-run hole and never dug themselves out.
The Bears finished with the same amount of hits as the Roadrunners. However, UTSA capitalized on a moment of weakness from Baylor. The Bears scraped out three runs, each at a time across three innings.
Baylor took a convincing lead after four and a half innings. It was 3-0 and the Roadrunners did not look like they had much of an answer for Baylor’s offense complemented by Kay’s pitching.
Baylor continues to spiral downward late in the season. The Bears’ window of opportunity of making the Big 12 Tournament is made narrower after each loss stacks up.
Baylor sits in last place of the Big 12 and will face the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kan., this weekend. Judging from conference and non-conference play, the Bears have struggled on the road. More than halfway through the season, they have won just one game in all of conference play (2-1 at Oklahoma State).
Should the Bears not qualify for the Big 12 Tournament, it would be the first time the Bears had ever failed to make the Big 12 tournament in it’s 20-year existence.