Sam Houston State snaps Baylor’s winning streak with 7-2 win

Story by Nathan Keil | Sports Editor, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter

No. 22 Sam Houston State used a four-run eighth inning and limited the Baylor offense to just two hits as the Bearkats snapped the Bears’ five-game winning streak Tuesday night with a 7-2 win at Baylor Ballpark.

Junior infielder Chase Cryer led the Bearkats with three hits in four at bats, with a double and two RBI. Fellow junior infielder Andrew Fregia was two for five at the plate and junior outfielder Josh Biles hit a solo home run in his lone at bat.

For Sam Houston State, it was a team effort on the mound. Freshman Landon Ausley tossed two innings, allowing both Baylor runs, but did not allow a hit. However, he walked four and struck out three before making way for four more Bearkats’ pitchers. Sophomore Nick Mikoajchak (2-2) picked up the win, scattering two hits and two walks over four innings of relief. Senior Dakota Mills earned his second save of the season, tossing two perfect innings.

Baylor’s two hits were a one out double by sophomore first baseman Andy Thomas in the sixth inning and an infield single by sophomore third baseman Davis Wendzel in the eighth.

Sophomore Jacob Ashkinos got the start for Baylor, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in four innings of work. Sophomore Ryan Leckich (2-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on two hits and walking one as all three batters he faced reached base safely.

But despite not getting a hit until the sixth inning, Baylor struck first with a pair of runs in the third inning.

Senior shortstop Tucker Cascadden and junior outfielder Cole Haring both walked. Freshman outfielder Davion Downey then laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error to load the bases. Sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers put the Bears in front on a walk and Wendzel then hit a sacrifice fly to center field for a 2-0 lead.

But Sam Houston State responded with two runs of its own in the top of the fourth inning. The Bearkats started things with a single and a walk. After a fly out, Cryer singled to right, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Junior outfielder Clayton Harp then came to play and singled through the left side, tying the game up at two.

The Bearkats looked to take the lead, collecting consecutive singles to begin the fifth, but after a sacrifice bunt and a walk loaded the bases, Baylor got the double play it needed to get out of the jam unscathed.

The Baylor bullpen would hold off the Bearkats in the sixth and seventh, but was unable to survive the eighth when Sam Houston State scored four runs and brought eight men to the plate. After junior pitcher Kyle Hill retired his final batter, Lekich entered the game, allowing a walk and an RBI double as Sam Houston State took a 3-2 lead.

After a single put runners on the corners, the Bearkats swiped second base, putting two in scoring position. Sam Houston State then dropped down a sacrifice bunt to score one more and a Baylor error allowed a second run to come in, making it 5-2 Sam Houston State.

The Bearkats added an RBI single for a 6-2 lead before Baylor retired the side in the eighth. Sam Houston State then added a solo shot from Biles in the ninth for a 7-2 lead.

Baylor (8-6) dropped just its second game at Baylor Ballpark this season. The Bears will open up Big 12 play by hosting a three-game series with No. 8 Texas Tech beginning at 6:35 p.m. Friday. Game two will be at 2:05 Saturday and the finale at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.