Bears split final two games of series with UCLA

Sophomore first baseman Andy Thomas is congratulated at home plate after hitting Baylor's first home run of the season against HBU. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

After a late inning rally Friday night by the Bruins, Baylor returned the favor on Saturday.

The Bears trailed 6-4 heading to the seventh before scoring one run in the seventh and eighth innings before sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers’ first home run of the season in the ninth lifted Baylor to an 8-6 win over No. 12 UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Baylor used relievers sophomore Ryan Lekich and senior Drew Robertson to get the Bears out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the eighth inning, setting up Langeliers’ home run in the ninth.

Senior closer Troy Montemayor pitched a perfect ninth, with a pair of strikeouts to earn his third save.

Baylor got the early lead, getting two runs in the first off a two-run home run from sophomore third baseman Davis Wendzel.

But UCLA responded with three runs in the bottom half of the first, including a leadoff home run from junior outfielder Amaral and a two-run triple from sophomore outfielder Jeremy Ydens off of junior righty Kyle Hill.

Baylor then got a two-run double from sophomore first baseman Andy Thomas to tie it at 4-4 in the third.

After UCLA got two more in the fifth to go up 6-4, Langeliers added an RBI single in the seventh and junior outfielder Cole Haring hit a solo shot to left to tie it at six.

Robertson who pitched to one batter in the eighth got the win for the Bears.

Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said his team did a good job giving maximum effort and focus after Friday night’s late inning loss.

“It’s about making sure we are competing the right way and doing the right things. I’m very proud of how the guys came back and performed today,” Rodriguez said.

On Sunday, Baylor was limited to just four hits as it dropped the final game of the series, 3-0 at No. 12 UCLA.

Senior outfielder Levi Gilcrease and freshman outfielder Davion Downey each had a double for the Bears.

Sophomore Hayden Kettler pitched well against the Bruins, tossing seven innings, giving up two runs, but only one earned on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

Unfortunately for Kettler, his counterpart freshman Zach Pettway was just a little bit better. Pettway scattered three hits over eight innings, did not allow a walk and struck out six.

Neither pitcher allowed a hit until the sixth inning.

UCLA got some help from the Bears’ defense as it scored a run in the bottom half of the first inning. After the Bruins drew a one out walk, a dropped fly ball in the outfield allowed the base runners to advance to second and third. Ydens then brought in a runner with a groundout to second base.

UCLA added a run in the seventh on an RBI single from Amaral and one in the eighth on an RBI double from junior outfielder Jake Pries.

Baylor (3-3) returns home to host Texas State at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Baylor Ballpark.