Baseball drops two of three to Oklahoma in Big 12 clash

Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

No. 14 Baylor baseball dropped two out of three games to No. 15 Oklahoma at Baylor Ballpark over the weekend. The Sooners won 11-3 on Friday and 3-0 in the finale on Sunday. The Bears shutout the Sooners 7-0 on Saturday to avoid the sweep.

The series loss for Baylor is the second consecutive home series loss after winning its first three.

On Friday, senior pitcher Nick Lewis was touched up for five runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Lewis struck out five but control was an issue for him as he allowed six walks.

Trailing 3-1 entering the sixth, the Sooners got the Lewis. Oklahoma sophomore outfielder Steele Walker led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. Following an error and a walk, sophomore outfielder Blake Brewster sent a Lewis fastball deep into the night sky to right field, putting the Sooners up 5-3.

The Sooners added two more in the seventh four more in the ninth for good measure, taking advantage of an error, a hit by pitch and two more walks from Baylor pitching.

Senior first baseman Aaron Dodson had four hits in five at bats and drove in two runs. Freshman catcher Shea Langaliers went three for four for the Bears as well.

On Saturday, Baylor rode a strong performance from junior pitcher Montana Parsons. Parsons tossed seven shutout innings, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out four.

Parsons said he was trusted his fastball to deal with the Sooners at the plate.

“I think I threw five off-speed pitches all day,” Parsons said. “My changeup felt great, but I’m not going to slow it down for them until they prove they can hit the fastball. I just moved it around, and it worked out. I’m a fastball-first guy, and I think every team knows that. But they didn’t prove it.”

Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said Parson’s performance was extremely impressive considering how good of an offensive team Oklahoma is.

“Coming off of yesterday’s game, you can see the power that Oklahoma has,” Rodriguez said. “Watching what [Montana] Parsons did tonight, being able to handcuff them a little bit – it’s an impressive offense – seeing the numbers that they put up. To see what we did with that today on the mound was really impressive.”

Baylor put up two in the third, two in the fourth before getting one in the seventh and two more in the eight.

In the third, sophomore outfielder T.J. Raguse drove in a run on a double. Senior designated hitter Matt Menard then scored Raguse on a sacrifice fly to center field. In the fourth, the Bears got a run on a failed pickoff attempt that ended up in right field and a second run on Raguse’s single.

Langeliers then scored a run on a wild pitch in the seventh, a walk in the eighth and a groundout from Raguse.

On Sunday, after getting out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning, Sooners’ freshman pitcher Nathan Wiles settled in to pick up the win, tossing 4 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, three walks, and striking out five.

Control was once again an issue for both pitching staffs as Oklahoma walked eight Bears at the plate but Baylor was unable to bring anyone home, stranding 10 runners and hitting into inning ending double plays in the seventh, eighth and nine innings.

Baylor pitchers allowed five free passes including senior relief pitcher Drew Robertson who walked two of the three batters he faced.

All the offensive damage for the Sooners came on one swing of the bat in the second inning.

Sophomore first baseman Brylie Ware singled to right and Walker then doubled off the wall in the center, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Baylor freshman pitcher Cody Bradford, who took the loss for the Bears, then got the next two batters out before making his biggest mistake of the game.

On the first pitch to junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall, Bradford left a fastball over the middle of the plate that Mendenhall hit just out of reach of Raguse’s glove at the wall in left field.

Baylor managed just six hits and struck out nine times.

Rodriguez thought that the Bears had an aggressive approach at the plate but just couldn’t get the big hit they needed.

“We hit balls hard, just right at people. You can say it wasn’t working but at some point when the ball leaves your bat, you don’t have a lot of control over it,” Rodriguez said. “From our standpoint, I thought our guys competed really well, we just didn’t get the two-out hit when we needed it and they were able to get it. It’s unfortunate, but it’s baseball.”

Langaliers had two hits and Raguse reached base four times with one single and three walks.

Baylor drops to 18-6 overall, 2-4 in the Big 12. The Bears host the University of Texas-San Antonio at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday before heading to Seattle, Wash. for a weekend series with the University of Washington.