Hunter Simmons suffers injury as Baylor baseball falls to No. 22 Indiana 8-4

Freshman left-handed pitcher RJ Ruais (89) gave the Bears three complete innings on the mound and struck out three batters. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

The life was sucked out of Baylor Ballpark three at-bats into the game.

No. 22 Indiana held off Baylor baseball 8-4 on Friday night, but a hush fell over the crowd when senior outfielder Hunter Simmons had to be carted off the diamond after slamming into the left-field wall in the top of the first inning.

Simmons came crashing down on his lower leg and never returned.

“It’s a major injury, and it hurts to see one of your teammates go down like that,” Bears head coach Mitch Thompson said. “When I get out there and see what’s going on, I’m like ‘Oh my gosh.’

“So, we’re thinking about him, and he’ll be alright. He’s a tough kid. We’ll get through it.”

Thompson said he knew the severity of Simmons’ injury but that he wouldn’t discuss it on Friday. He told reporters that the program will release a statement on the injury “in the next day or so.”

Simmons was hitting .353 with six RBIs and three runs scored going into Friday’s contest. The Mansfield native made starts as the team’s left fielder or designated hitter, and four of his six hits on the year went for extra bases.

The Bears (1-4) pulled within three after the fourth inning, but the Hoosiers (4-1) added a run of insurance in the top of the ninth and pulled away with the 8-4 victory.

Indiana jumped on junior right-handed pitcher Mason Marriott (0-1) early, but the Hoosiers only mustered one run in the top of the first. Marriott, who won Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for his efforts last Friday against Nebraska, was hit with the loss after giving up six earned runs on seven hits.

The Hoosiers nearly blew the game open with five runs in the top of the third, but freshman left-handed pitcher RJ Ruais replaced Marriott and struck out two batters to close the side.

Baylor got on the board in the bottom side, though, as senior infielder Cole Posey — who replaced Simmons in left field — delivered a ground-out RBI with the bases loaded. The Bears trailed 6-2 after giving up another run in the top half of the fourth.

Baylor put together a three-run bottom half, but it stranded two runners on base with one-out to work with. The next four innings were scoreless for both sides until Indiana added one run of insurance in the top of the ninth.

Junior infielder Hunter Teplanszky executed a two-out single to give the Bears some hope, but Baylor struck out to end the game. Indiana redshirt sophomore left-handed pitcher Grant Holderfield picked up his first save of the season, and junior right-handed pitcher Julian Tonghini (1-0) secured his first win after 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Game two of the series is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday at Baylor Ballpark.

Michael Haag is a third year Journalism student from Floresville, a small town about 30 miles south of San Antonio. Haag is entering his third year at the Lariat and is hoping to continue developing his sports reporting skill set. After graduation, he plans to work on a Master’s degree in Journalism in order to one day teach at the college level. He does, however, plan on becoming a sports reporter for a publication after grad school.