WACO, Texas – Baylor starter Max Garner gave a strong performance on the mound and was backed up by his offense as the Bears shutout West Virginia 8-0 on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (15-16, 4-3 Big 12) piled on 13 hits to snap the Mountaineers' (17-14, 4-4 Big 12) eight-game winning streak.
Garner didn't have his best stuff as a blister after the second inning hampered his repertoire, but the senior pitched like a veteran. Scattering seven hits and a walk over six innings and 93 pitches, Garner (2-3) earned his first win since March 3 after stranding runners in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
"I thought Max competed well," said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. "It wasn't the best day he's had for stuff but I thought he competed well. When he cracked the door, which he did a couple times with leadoff walks or a hit batter or something, he was able to make pitches and we were making plays behind him."
Meanwhile, Garner received offensive support early from Grayson Porter. The junior led off the second inning with his career-high fifth home run and plated another run in the third on a fielder's choice grounder.
Baylor then added onto the lead in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings. In the fifth, runs scored on a Duncan Wendel single and Logan Brown hit-by-pitch. Adam Toth walked, stole second and came home on a Jake Miller single in the seventh. In the eighth, three more runs came in on a Porter sacrifice fly, Wendel single and Brett Doe single.
Crayton Bare finished the game on the mound for the Bears in impressive fashion to earn his first save of the season and third of his career. Throwing the final three innings, the senior gave up just a hit and walk while striking out six batters.
Offensively, several Bears had standout days. Langford went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Porter drove in three and scored one in a 2-for-4 performance as he now has one more home run (5) than the rest of the Baylor hitters combined (4). Wendel went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Miller reached base a career-high five times as he tied a career-best three hits in three at-bats and walked twice with an RBI. Doe went 2-for-4 with an RBI and threw out three base runners behind the plate.
"Jake's been here long enough, so you know at the end of the year what you're going to get offensively even though he starts off slow," Smith said. "He'll come and gets better as the season goes along. That's just who he is. When we get good production out of him, and I thought Brett Doe had a good bounce back game for him after last night, we can be pretty good when we're getting that kind of production out of the No. 8-9 hole."
WVU starter Corey Walter (2-3) took the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks with one strikeout in 4.1 innings.
The teams play the series rubber match tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. CT as WVU LHP John Means (3-1, 1.86 ERA) will face Baylor's starter that has yet to be announced.
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