Story by Ben Everett | Sports Writer, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor baseball fell to Texas on Saturday and Sunday in Austin after dropping the series opener as the Longhorns completed the sweep.
The Bears (14-16, 3-9) struggled on offense, scoring just one run over a two day span in Austin.
On Saturday, sophomore starting pitcher Cody Bradford took the mound for the Bears, but gave up a solo home run in the first inning to give the Longhorns a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, the sophomore first basemen Andy Thomas stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, but he grounded out to second to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Bradford gave up a double that turned into a run after an error by freshman shortstop Nick Loftin as Texas extended their lead to 2-0.
The Bears once again found themselves in scoring position with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the fourth, but fly outs by junior left fielder T.J. Raguse and Loftin ended any potential rally.
Baylor managed just one hit the rest of the way en route to a 2-0 shutout.
Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said the Bears have to capitalize on those scoring opportunities if they want to win games.
“It was frustrating because we had some chances to do damage on offense,” Rodriguez said. “I talked to the guys after the game and said that we need to have better quality at-bats with the bases loaded. I know it’s frustrating for them because they’re trying to have success, but at the same time, we need to try to find a way to compete and get wins.”
Sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Leckich looked to help the Bears salvage game three on Sunday, but the first inning pitching struggles continued. Leckich surrendered three hits and a walk in the first frame as Texas took a 3-0 lead.
Sophomore third baseman Davis Wendzel launched a solo homer in the top of the second inning to cut the lead to 3-1.
Senior Alex Phillips, senior Joe Heineman and junior Kyle Hill each provided solid relief pitching for the Bears after Leckich pitched just two innings. Phillips and Heineman combined for four shutout innings and Hill gave up just one run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Baylor offense put up a zero after Wendzel’s homer to take the 4-1 loss.
The Bears look to bounce back as they face Sam Houston State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Huntsville.