By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
Nine innings. Three walks. Four hits. Eight strikeouts. 123 pitches. Zero runs.
Tyler Thomas can add his name to the short list of guys that have thrown a complete game shutout for Baylor, as the fourth-year junior lefty aided the Bears in a 6-0 victory over North Carolina A&T Thursday night, completing their fourth shutout of 2021.
“It was exciting,” Thomas said. “I was starting to get tired around the sixth inning, kind of realized what was going on, and the adrenaline spiked through the roof and got me through the rest of the game.”
Thomas is 3-2 on the season with a 1.65 ERA. The shutout was the longest outing of the Keller native’s career. The last Baylor pitcher to throw a complete game shutout was former ace Cody Bradford’s one-hit gem against TCU on April 20, 2018.
“Tyler just did a great job for us,” head coach Steve Rodriguez said. “He was great being able to move the fastball in and out. He struggled with his breaking ball early but was able to find it later on. It’s like I explained to our pitchers the other day, ‘the ability to have fastball command is such a powerful thing because now it really does set up the rest of your pitches.'”
The Baylor bats gave Thomas a cushion early with three runs in the first inning, slashing four-straight singles including a two-run RBI by senior catcher Andy Thomas to score freshman center fielder Jared McKenzie and transfer shortstop Jack Pineda. Fourth-year junior right fielder Davion Downey hit a sacrifice fly to center, bringing in freshman second baseman Tre Richardson.
The Bears added two more in the second when Richardson singled to bring in third baseman Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo. Thomas, who’d been a skid at the plate during the last five games, added another RBI when he drove in Richardson. A wild pitch in the sixth inning iced the Bears’ scoring.
“We played really good,” Thomas said. “Six-nothing game, we played good defense. We pitched well. I think we could have beat them by quite a bit more.”
Baylor is now 13-2 at home, 15-10 overall. The Bears will continue the series against the Aggies today with a double-header starting at 2 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark.