STILLWATER, Okla. – An ugly day provide what Baylor Head Coach Steve Smith called an "ugly" win as the Bears (11-13, 1-1) beat No. 20 Oklahoma State (19-4, 1-1) 5-3 in 12 innings on Saturday afternoon on a cold, soggy day at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Escaping several OSU scoring chances, BU took advantage of a chance in the 12th after new OSU pitcher Brendan McCurry walked Nate Goodwin to start the frame. After a Jake Miller sacrifice bunt, Logan Brown delivered the big hit with a double down the left field line that scored pinch-runner West Tunnell. An out and two intentional walks later, Duncan Wendel hit a grounder to short that was booted to allow Brown to score and provide even more comfort for reliever Crayton Bare, who was excellent for a second straight extended outing.
"They pitched us away for two days and finally we got one in and Logan hooked it down there and gave us a little room to breathe," said Smith as his team grabbed its first Big 12 win. "Then they kicked one to let us add another."
Coming off a scoreless five-inning effort on Tuesday at home against Sam Houston State with a career-high eight strikeouts, Bare threw 3.2 scoreless innings to pick up his first win (1-1) of the season in gutsy fashion. Entering in the ninth with a 3-3 tie and runners on second and third win one out after a huge strikeout by Josh Michalec, Bare got pinch-hitter Trey Whaley to ground to third for an unconventional double play. As Cal Towey fielded it, Aaron Cornell got caught in his secondary lead and Towey tagged him out as he tried to dive back to third and threw to first base to escape a sticky situation.
With an out and two on in the 10th, Bare was helped by Goodwin's awareness behind the plate. The catcher caught Saulyer Saxon too far off first base after a pitch and threw behind him, leading to an out at third base after the runner at second had to break. Then following an intentional walk, Bare struck out Gage Green looking.
"We had to turn some magic there late in the ball game a couple of times," Smith said. "Defensively, we executed well and got a really, really good performance out of Crayton. It's a tough day to play, tough day for the players. The pitchers had the advantage on a day like this."
Prior to the game being tied, Baylor took a 3-1 lead with a strong sixth inning. Brown started it with a single and then an error on Lawton Langford's sacrifice bunt led to a Nathan Orf sacrifice bunt. Towey cashed in with a two-run single up the middle. A batter later, Adam Toth singled up the middle as well, scoring Towey.
BU starter Max Garner pitched a strong game, but was unable to finish the seventh after letting a leadoff walk get to third on a wild pitch. Ryan Smith came in an out later but surrendered a sacrifice fly to Zach Fish that tied the game. Garner ended the day giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts in a 6.1-inning no-decision.
McCurry took the loss (3-1) after surrendering two runs (one earned) on a hit and three walks in his lone inning. Starter Mark Robinette took a no-decision, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 5.1 innings.
Brown and Towey led the Baylor offense with two hits apiece. Brown went 2-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored. Towey was 2-for-4 with two RBI and walks and a run scored.
The teams play the rubber match of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT before the Bears close a five-game road trip on Tuesday at UT San Antonio. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for the series finale.
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