By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor baseball opened the season with a 1-0 win over Houston Baptist Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.
Baylor sophomore pitcher Cody Bradford pitched eight innings, allowing only one hit while striking out eight en route to a shutout of the Huskies.
Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said it was fun watching Bradford perform at a high level.
“We knew he had it in him, and he just had so much confidence in Coach [Jon] Strauss and the pitches he was calling,” Rodriguez said. “It was really fun watching him throw out there and have a good result.”
In the first inning, sophomore third-baseman Davis Wendzel reached second on a walk and wild pitch, but was stranded there as the Bears offense could not muster a hit.
Bradford retired all six batters he faced in the first two innings to keep it at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the second.
Junior right fielder Cole Haring notched a double in the second inning, but the Bears once again stranded their runner to keep it scoreless.
Bradford retired all three batters in the third inning, but gave up a walk in the fourth to surrender his perfect game.
Sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers led off with a double in the bottom of the fourth, Wendzel was walked and Haring was hit by pitch to load the bases for the Bears. Junior left fielder T.J. Raguse came in clutch with a sacrifice fly to bring home Langeliers and put the Bears up 1-0 in the fourth.
No offense was generated in the fifth inning as both the Bears and Huskies batters were retired in order.
In the bottom of the sixth, Langeliers and sophomore first baseman Andy Thomas reached base, but the score remained at 1-0 after they were both stranded.
Bradford allowed his first hit of the game 6.2 innings in, but remained poised and retired the Huskies’ successive batters to maintain Baylor’s 1-0 lead.
Senior closer Troy Montemayor came into the game for the ninth inning and picked up where Bradford left off, retiring three batters to win the game for the Bears.
The Bears’ collective one-hit game was the first for Baylor pitching since 2011.
Rodriguez said Bradford worked hard in the offseason to improve his game, and it showed tonight.
“It was really impressive watching [Cody Bradford] go out there and be able to show the improvements he made throughout the offseason,” Rodriguez said. “His velocity has increased, his breaking ball is tighter and he has a really good change-up.”
Baylor looks to clinch the series as they face Houston Baptist at 3:05 p.m. Saturday at Baylor Ballpark.