Baylor baseball blasts Lamar 11-5 in home opener

Baylor totaled 11 runs on 10 hits on Tuesday. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

By Foster Nicholas | Sports Writer

Baylor baseball drilled three home runs and won its first game of the season in its home opener against Lamar by a score of 11-5 on Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark.

Head coach Mitch Thompson and the Bears (1-3) were led by redshirt junior right fielder Enzo Apodaca, who finished the day 4-for-5 (three singles and a two-run home run) at the plate with three runs and three RBIs.

“He knows who he is, and he executes who he is,” Thompson said. “Baylor fans ought to get excited about him. I think he’s going to give us professional at-bats over and over and over at the top of that lineup, and I think he’s a tough out. So it’ll be fun to watch him this season.”

The Bears jumped out to a hot start in the bottom of the first when Apodaca, junior third baseman Hunter Teplanszky and junior center fielder Ty Johnson each singled to start the frame. With the bases loaded, senior left fielder Hunter Simmons, swinging at first pitch, uncorked a grand slam over the left-center field fence to put the Bears on top.

“It was great to see us come out of the chute again, and to start off the game single, single, single, bomb was fantastic,” Thompson said. “The first three innings were really good offensively; the next five were not so good. That’s probably the frustrating thing. When you get a team down, I want us to have the maturity level and the drive and the focus to just continue to put our foot on their throat and to end the game.”

Redshirt junior outfielder Enzo Apodaca, a Gonzaga transfer, tied a career-high with four hits. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor
Redshirt junior outfielder Enzo Apodaca, a Gonzaga transfer, tied a career-high with four hits. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

Baylor added three more in the bottom of the second on a pair of fielder’s choice ground balls and a walk with the bases loaded. Lamar (2-2) got one back in the top of the third inning, but the Bears answered right back as Apodaca hit a two-run home run and Teplanszky smashed a solo shot a few pitches later.

“We’ve been jumping out of the gate hot, and we did. This game worked out,” Apodaca said. “It felt great to get my first [home run] — first one as a Bear too — so I’m really happy.”

Leading 10-1, Baylor relied on the pitching to further the game as the offense stalled out. The Cardinals put up one run in the fourth and three more in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 10-5, before Apodaca singled in the final Baylor run in the bottom of the seventh to close out at 11-5.

Among six different Baylor arms, the Bears tallied 13 strikeouts. Junior right-handed pitcher Gabe Craig was responsible for three of them, as he shut down the last three batters of the ballgame.

Baylor will be back in action on Friday for game one of a three-game series against No. 22 Indiana. First pitch for the series opener is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark.

Foster Nicholas is a junior from Parker, Colorado, majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in film and digital media. In his fourth semester with the Lariat, he is excited to level up Baylor Lariat radio, do play-by-play for thrilling home games, and continue to feature some great Baylor athletes in print.