By Michael Haag | Sports Writer
After its season-high five-game win streak was snapped on April 5, Baylor baseball was overwhelmed by No. 19 Texas State University 11-4 Tuesday evening at Bobcat Ballpark to make for five straight losses, all coming on the road. The Bears struck first and hovered around until a five spot in the fourth plunged TSU to a big lead.
Baylor (16-16, 2-7 Big 12) fell victim to youth against a more experienced Bobcats (25-9, 9-3 SBC) team that made sure to capitalize in all facets of the diamond.
“You have to tip your hat to Texas State, they’re a veteran team, veteran offense, older group, and they showed it tonight,” head coach Steve Rodriguez said. “Our younger bullpen, the biggest thing is we’re kind of falling behind [on] guys. We’re not getting strike one early on in the counts and we’re kind of getting behind, and then we have to kind of submit to the count, and the hitter and [TSU] did a good job. That’s what veteran teams do.”
Sophomore outfielder Kyle Nevin was a lone bright spot at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI single in the first inning.
Things looked promising when the Bears scratched across two early runs, but three TSU homers put the Cats up 5-2 going into the fourth.
The Bears immediately answered with an RBI flyout from sophomore infielder/outfielder Alex Gonzales, but the Bobcats opened the flood gates in the bottom side. It was a five-run fourth inning sparked by two quick walks and a hit by pitch to load the bases with no outs. A single plated two and on came sophomore righty Chandler Freeman.
Freeman struck out the first two batters he saw, but gave up three runs on a pair of doubles before being able to dance out of the jam in his only inning of work.
TSU punched one more in the seventh, matched by a run from Baylor’s final effort in the ninth.
Baylor finally returns home, this time for a three-game set – a bit different due to Easter Sunday – against the University of Kansas. The first game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Baylor Ballpark. The series will move into a 5 p.m. contest on Friday and close out at noon on Saturday. All contests for Easter weekend can still be watched on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ or listened to on ESPN 1660 AM radio.
The Bears are still learning from their losses and hope to bounce back in a big way this weekend.
“The biggest thing, and like I told our guys, is we need to continue to get better,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be honest with ourselves with the results and find a way to improve. As soon as we realize that certain things aren’t working, we need to make sure to make those adjustments.”