Ninth-inning walk off gives Bears win over UTSA

Photo credit: Trey Honeycutt

Baylor baseball defeated UTSA 5-4 in a thriller Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark.

The Bears (11-13) were cold on offense early, but found momentum late to beat the Roadrunners (10-14) on 1B Aaron Dodson’s walk-off single.

“We did not play real well at the beginning,” head coach Steve Rodriguez said, “but we had some guys compete toward the end of the game, which was great.”

Bears starting pitcher Nick Lewis struggled early, allowing two hits on the first two at bats of the game.

The Roadrunners capitalized on the opportunity as Jason Serchay drove in Skyler Valentine on a right field single to give UTSA the early 1-0 lead.

Third-baseman Steven McLean recorded an error in the top of the second, allowing the Roadrunner’s offense to stay afloat and load the bases with just one out.

Lewis recovered to strikeout the next UTSA batter before throwing a wild pitch that brought in a runner and put the Bears in a 2-0 hole.

Lewis allowed two hits and a walk in the third inning before he was replaced by relief pitcher Drew Robertson. The Bears executed a double play to end the inning, leaving three UTSA runners stranded.

McLean drove a double down right field to start the third inning before Darryn Sheppard drove him in on a single to put the Bears on the board and make it a 2-1 game.

After a bunt from Levi Gilcrease that loaded the bases for the Baylor, UTSA sent in pitcher Chance Kirby to relieve Karl Craigie. The Roadrunners converted on a double play to end the inning while still holding the lead.

Robertson picked up two strikeouts en route to pitching scoreless fourth and fifth innings.

“[Robertson]’s been really consistent for us all year,” Rodriguez said, “I think we’re putting him in really good spots for him to succeed and he’s doing exactly what we ask him to do.”

Rodriguez ran out to first base to consult with the umpire after a controversial call was made that resulted in Bears OF Richard Cunningham being called out on a bunt.

In the sixth inning, Kody Hessemer replaced Robertson on the mound for Baylor.

A fielding error allowed the Roadrunners to tack on another score, making it a 3-1 game in the top of the sixth.

Justin Arrington hit a double to deep left field to start the seventh for the Bears. Shepard followed that up with another double to left, driving Arrington in for the score and cutting the UTSA lead to one.

The third error of the game by Baylor resulted in UTSA runners on first and second with just one out in the inning.

Joe Heineman replaced McInvale following the error. Heineman struggled, however, walking two straight batters to give the Roadrunners a 4-2 lead.

Three straight singles by the Bears resulted in a run as Josh Bissonette drove in Matt Menard to make it a 4-3 game in the eighth inning.

Pinch hitter TJ Raguse stepped up to the plate and crushed a single to left field, driving in another run to tie up the score.

Troy Montemayor took the mound for the Bears in the ninth inning and held the Roadrunners scoreless.

In the bottom of the ninth, Cunningham was walked at the first at bat. Sheppard then bunted to put runners on first and second. Dodson drove a shot down right field, driving in Cunningham to give the Bears a 5-4 win.

“I felt like I needed to get up there and do something big,” Dodson said, “hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

The Bears will look to continue their two game winning streak this weekend as they face Kansas in a three game series at Baylor Ballpark.