Six run fifth inning propels Baylor past UT Arlington

Junior outfielder Cole Haring slides in at third base ahead of a throw from the Houston Baptist shortstop. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor baseball won its second straight game Tuesday night, knocking off UT-Arlington 9-1 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The Bears erased a 1-0 deficit with a six-run fifth inning and cemented the victory with three more in the eighth inning.

Baylor pounded out 17 hits and every starter had at least one hit. Freshman infielder Nick Loftin led the way with three hits while junior outfielder Richie Cunningham had two hits and drove in three runs and sophomore first baseman Andy Thomas had two hits and two RBIs.

The offensive explosion helped get starter, sophomore Jacob Ashkinos out of line to take the loss. Ashkinos went 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts before giving way to the Baylor bullpen.

Ashkinos gave up a leadoff triple to right-center off the bat of senior third baseman Easton Johnson and then a sacrifice fly to center from senior outfielder RJ Williams to put UT-Arlington on the board first.

Ashkinos was lifted for sophomore lefty Ryan Leckich (1-0) who gave up just one hit and one walk over the next 4 2/3 innings while striking out two.

Sophomore Luke Boyd and freshman Jimmy Winston pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit, but not surrendering a run.

Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, junior second baseman Josh Bissonette started the rally with a leadoff double. Two batters later, junior outfielder Cole Haring doubled him in, tying the game at 1-1.

Then with two outs, following an error that allowed runners on the corners, sophomore third baseman Davis Wendzel doubled to center, scoring Haring. Thomas then delivered a two-run single to give the Bears a 4-1 lead. After a Loftin single, Cunningham delivered an RBI single to center. Cunningham then scored on two wild pitches later before Bissonette ended the inning after beginning it with a double.

In the eighth, Cunningham drilled a two-run single to right field, putting the Bears in front 8-1. More command issues from UT-Arlington resulted in another wild pitch, allowing Thomas to come around and score for a 9-1 lead.

As team, Baylor hit .474 with two outs, driving in six runs. The Bears also hit .385 with runners on and .412 with runners in scoring position, a stark difference from its 5-4 Saturday loss to Texas A&M, where they stranded 17 runners.

Baylor (5-5) returns home to Baylor Ballpark for a three-game weekend set with George Washington beginning with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch Friday. Saturday’s contest will begin at 3:05 and the finale at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Baylor Ballpark.