Baseball keeps rolling, sweeps Kansas State

Richard Cunningham records an extra base hit in a 6-0 win over TCU on April 20 at Baylor Ballpark. Baylee VerSteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor baseball continued its recent successful run by sweeping Kansas State over the weekend and extending its winning streak to 10 straight.

The Bears erupted offensively in the series, winning 18-0 Friday night, 16-3 on Saturday and 8-5 on Sunday.

On Friday night, Baylor sophomore Cody Bradford pitched his second-straight complete game shutout, a first in program history as the Bears pounded out 24 hits in an 18-0 route of Kansas State.

Bradford allowed nine hits and one walk while striking out eight Wildcats.

Offensively, freshman shortstop Nik Loftin had four hits and drove in a pair of runs, sophomore third baseman Davis Wendzel had two hits and drove in three, junior outfielder T.J. Raguse and sophomore first baseman Andy Thomas each had three hits and freshman outfielder Davion Downey went five for six at the plate, including his second home run and drove in three runs.

The Bears scored four runs in the second, five in the in the third, four more in the fifth before adding five more over the course of the final three frames.

In the second, Downey led off with a home run, junior designated hitter Richard Cunningham drove in a run with a single and Wendzel drove in two with a double.

In the third, Raguse brought one in with an RBI groundout, Loftin added a three-run shot and Cunningham later added a solo shot.

In the fifth, Raguse led off the frame with a solo shot, Thomas drove in another with a fielder’s choice groundout and Downey drilled a two-run double to right.

Sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers added an RBI single in the seventh. Junior second baseman Josh Bissonette homered, Wendzel hit an RBI single and Langeliers added a sacrifice fly in the eighth and finally in the ninth, senior shortstop Tucker Cascadden hit a pinch hit-RBI double to round out the scoring for Baylor.

On Saturday, Baylor got the offense going early once again, tagging Kansas State for three runs in the first and blowing it open with five runs in the fourth and four more in the eighth.

In the first, Wendzel laced a two-run double to get the Bears on the board. Langeliers added a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.

The Bears added a run on a sacrifice fly in the third from Downey. In the fourth, Baylor got a run on a pair of Kansas State errors, Wendzel then hit into a double play, allowing another run to score. Thomas then drilled an RBI single and Langeliers followed Thomas’ hit up with an RBI double for an 8-1 lead. Downey capped the fourth off with an RBI single.

The Wildcats struck back for two in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of two hits, a walk and an error from the Bears.

In the eighth, following a pair of hits from Raguase and Loftin, Cunningham then drilled a two-run triple to right-center putting Baylor up 11-3. Wendzel then launched a two-run bomb to left-center for a 13-3 lead.

The Bears tacked on three more in the ninth as Cascadden and Thomas each added RBI singles and took advantage of a Kansas State error for one more.

Sophomore Hayden Kettler picked up the win, going the first five innings, allowing three runs, although only one earned on three hits with three walks.

Junior Kyle Hill and seniors Joe Heineman and Drew Robertson pitched the final four shutout innings for the Bears, as they secured the series win with a 16-3 victory.

On Sunday, freshman Tyler Thomas got the start for the Bears, but he only lasted 2. 1/3 innings, while allowing three runs on two hits with four walks. Baylor committed three errors in the first three innings, all of which contributed to Kansas State’s early success.

The Wildcats scored a run in each of the first three innings, one in the fifth and one in the eighth.

Senior Alex Phillips pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief to get the win, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Heineman, Robertson and senior closer Troy Montemayor pitched the final three innings for the Bears.

Trailing 1-0 in the second, following a leadoff double from Thomas, Langeliers reached on an error and Thomas came home to tie the game. Langeliers later scored on a two out wild pitch.

After K-State tied it at two in the second, Wendzel put the Bears back in front with a solo home run to left field. The Wildcats responded with one more in the third to tie the game at three.

In the fourth, it was senior outfielder Levi Gilcrease, who put the Bears back in front with an RBI single. Langeliers added an RBI groundout in the fifth, as Baylor led 5-3 after five innings.

After the Wildcats got one back in the fifth, Loftin then launched a three-run shot to left field, putting Baylor up 8-4 in the sixth inning.

In the eighth, the Wildcats connected on a home run off Robertson to the cut the deficit to 8-5 and then put runners on the corners with two outs.

Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez then gave the ball to Montemayor, who got out of the jam with a groundout.

In the ninth, Montemayor allowed two singles to open the frame, but once again was able to retire the final three matters, to collect his 10th save of the season.

Baylor (26-17, 9-9) is off this week before returning for a two-game midweek series with Arkansas Pine Bluff beginning at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, May 8 at Baylor Ballpark.