By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
Heading into Baylor baseball’s Big 12 opener, sophomore pitcher Cody Bradford said he was ready for the challenge of dealing with the eighth ranked Red Raiders and their potent offense.
On Friday night, Bradford took his game to a new level and shut down No. 8 Texas Tech. Bradford tossed 8 2/3 innings, scattering six hits and shutting out the Red Raiders 2-0 to take the opener of a three game series. He also walked two and struck out seven.
Bradford was pulled after a two-out single put runners on first and second, giving way to senior closer Troy Montemayor, who induced a lineout to end the game, collecting his fifth save of the season.
Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said that Bradford did a tremendous job trusting in his mechanics and his pitches all game long.
“I think once you saw [Cody Bradford] in the first inning, you realized he kind of went back to the guy we saw that very first outing, where he felt comfortable, he believed in his stuff, and he was just trusting Coach [Jon] Strauss in regards to pitch calling,” Rodriguez said. “He did a phenomenal job of just throwing what was called and being able to constantly pound the zone like that and keep the hitters off balance. He did a great job.”
Texas Tech had opportunities, as the Red Raiders put men on base in all but the second and eighth innings. However, every base runner for Texas Tech reached base with two outs and Bradford was able to come up with the big pitch to end the threat.
Sophomore third baseman Josh Jung was two for four at the plate for Texas Tech and freshman second baseman Gabe Holt and senior shortstop Michael Davis each had doubles, but were stranded by Bradford.
Texas Tech junior Davis Martin (3-1) was every bit up to the part of matching Bradford. Martin allowed two runs on four hits, did not allow a walk and struck out 10 Bears in seven innings.
However, Baylor was able to get to him early and add some late insurance to outduel Martin.
In the first, sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers delivered a two-out double after Martin had struck out the first two hitters in the inning. Sophomore third baseman Davis Wendzel then put the Bears in front 1-0 on an RBI single to right-center.
In the seventh, Wendzel was the catalyst once again. He led off the inning with a double to the gap in left center. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, Wendzel came in and scored as Davis threw wide of the target trying to get Wendzel at the plate, putting Baylor up 2-0.
The only other Baylor hit was a one-out double by junior outfielder Cole Haring in the third inning.
Baylor (9-6) and Texas Tech (16-4) will play game two at 2:05 p.m. Saturday and game three at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.