By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
Despite having eight days off due to finishing finals, Baylor baseball showed no signs of rust against Prairie View A&M Tuesday night.
The Bears scored runs in every inning, pounded out 17 hits as they routed the visiting Panthers 18-1 in seven innings to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 11 straight.
Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said he was pleased with his team’s approach Tuesday night and that began with a practice in the morning.
“We had an early practice today just to try and get the guys out and moving [after their week off due to final exams]. They have been studying and I just wanted to get them out here and get them out of bed, moving them around, kind of start focusing on things and start doing a little bit of practice to kind of remind them about a few things,” Rodriguez said. “We took some batting practice and they were in good spirits obviously and feeling really good. I am really happy with some of their approaches and some of the things they did tonight.”
The good approaches began with redshirt junior outfielder Richard Cunningham, who had two hits, including a home run.
Sophomores, third baseman Davis Wendzel and first baseman Andy Thomas as well as junior outfielder Cole Haring each drove in two runs and junior second baseman Josh Bissonette hit a grand slam and drove in five runs for Baylor.
Freshman lefty Tyler Thomas (2-2) picked up the win, tossing the first four innings, allowing three hits, four walks and struck out five.
Senior Alex Phillips tossed two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Fellow senior Joe Heineman then struck out the side in the seventh and working around a two-out single.
Cunningham got the scoring started for Baylor in its four-run first inning, blasting a two-run shot to right field.
Then with two outs, Haring drilled a two-run triple to straight away center field, putting Baylor up 4-0 after one.
The Bears then added four more in the second. Freshman shortstop Nick Loftin hit an RBI double to start the scoring. Wendzel and Thomas each added RBI singles and Baylor capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Baylor added one more on a groundout in the third and then Bissonette hit a grand slam to left field in the fourth, putting the Bears in front 13-0.
The Bears kept extending the lead, tacking on three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Following a double from Cunningham to open the fifth, Wendzel then tripled in the gap in right center, scoring Cunningham. Wendzel then came home after a Prairie View error and Bissonette drove in the final run of the frame with a groundout to second base.
In the sixth, Thomas brought in a run on a sacrifice fly and sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers hit an RBI double, putting Baylor in front 18-1.
Senior outfielder Steven Williams had two hits for Prairie View A&M. He came around to score in the top of the sixth on an RBI double by senior left fielder Corbin Jamison.
Baylor (27-17) and Prairie View A&M play game two of a midweek set beginning at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Baylor Ballpark.