Baseball drops midweek game to UTA

No. 36 freshman pitcher Troy Montemayor throws the ball to the batter on Tuesday April 7 at the Baylor Ballpark. Baylor baseball played UT Arlington and beat them by an impressive 9-5 lead (this score may need to be updated). Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

Baylor baseball could not find its offense in a 9-2 loss to UT-Arlington on Wednesday at Baylor Ballpark.

Out of four home games in 2016, the Bears have won just one.

The Bears (1-3) struggled to contain the Mavericks’ (3-2) bats and ignite their own in a blowout loss. Wednesday night marked UTA’s first win in Waco since 2005.

UTA senior Matt McLean hit a single to left field on the first at-bat of the game.

Baylor starting pitcher Andrew McInvale was able to collect two straight outs before Colton Turner hit another shot to left field, driving McLean in for the first run of the game.

This game was McInvale’s first start as a Baylor Bear. Rodriguez said he sees potential in McInvale.

“I’m really excited about [McInvale’s] future if he continues to progress the way he is,” head coach Steve Rodriguez said.

The Mavericks continued their hot swinging in the top of the second, with Quintin Rohrbaugh dropping a single in centerfield off the first pitch.

Brady Cox hit a sacrifice fly into left field, allowing Rohrbaugh to score.

McInvale struck out the next batter to bring the Baylor offense back on the field.

McInvale struggled to start the third, allowing a walk and a single to get two Mavericks players on base.

He recovered however, collecting three straight outs to finish the top of the third.

Bears freshman Collin Garrett started the fourth inning to relieve McInvale.

Garrett provided a much needed defensive spark for the Bears, retiring three of four batters en route to a scoreless inning.

UTA pitcher Kadon Simmons continued his dominance in the fourth, striking out two of three batters and allowing zero hits to finish off the inning.

Christian Hollie hit a single to left to drive in McLean, putting the Mavericks up 3-0 in the top of the fifth.

UTA’s offense kept rolling in the fifth, as Turner smashed a double to deep centerfield, driving in two runners and giving the Mavericks a 5-0 lead.

Garrett was replaced by sophomore Kyle Ott after giving up three runs to start the inning.

The Bears defense responded by converting on a double play to bring the offense back onto the field.

Ott gave up two hits early in the sixth before recording an error on a sacrifice bunt by RJ Williams, allowing UTA to drive in another run and go up 6-0.

The UTA offense continued to dominate as Hollie flew a double to centerfield, bringing in two runners and giving the Mavericks a 9-0 lead in the top of the sixth.

Hollie’s RBI double marked seven runs given up by Baylor pitchers in the fifth and sixth innings combined.

“[Our pitchers] do a really good job of getting the first two strikes,” Rodriguez said. “They just can’t finish the hitter.”

Bears freshman Josh Bissonette recorded a single on the first pitch of the sixth inning before Levi Gilcrease launched a double to left field to drive in Bissonette and put the Bears on the board.

Kameron Esthay followed up by hitting another double for Baylor, driving in Gilcrease to make it a 9-2 game.

Pinch-hitter Jonathan Ducoff hit a single down the middle to load the bases for the Bears but UTA relief pitcher Adam Meyer was able to collect two straight outs to end the inning.

Senior Kody Hessemer and freshman Blake Allen combined to pitch shutouts for the Bears in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

However, Baylor was unable to muster any offense during the latter stretch of the game.

“I’m really excited because there’s a lot of learning to be done,” Rodriguez said. “We’re not in a bad place, we just need to educate a little more.”

The Bears look to bounce back with a series win over Stony Brook this weekend at Baylor Ballpark.