WACO, TX — The Bears’ offense took over as they blasted 14 runs on a season-high 22 hits to take the rubber game over visiting Cal Poly, 14-3, on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
The Bears (13-5) were led by Andy Thomas, who was 5-for-5 on the day with one RBI, and four of those hits were doubles. Davis Wendzel led the team with 4 RBIs on 3-for-5 hitting, including a three-run home. Nick Loftin and Richard Cunningham each had three hits on the day and Loftin and Cole Haring each blasted their third home runs of the season.
Overall, all nine batters in the lineup had at least one hit on the day, with six having multi-hit performances. Also, eight-of-nine batters had at least one RBI.
For the second-straight game Cal Poly (7-11) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but today the Bears were able to answer in a big way. After the Mustangs plated a run in the top of the second inning, the Bears answered with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the second inning. The Bears plated five runs on four hits in the inning. Wendzel brought home the game-tying run on an RBI single, before Davion Downey followed with two RBIs on a single of his own. Haring them stepped into the box and launched his third homer of the year, a two-run shot to left to put the Bears up, 5-1.
The Bears were not done, however, as they added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. After back-to-back one-out singles from Cunningham and Loftin, Wendzel had an incredible at-bat, where he launched two would-be home runs, but both were foul, before straightening it out for a three-run shot, his third homer of the year.
Up 8-1 in the fifth, the Bears were cruising on the mound, as starter Tyler Thomas went 2.0 innings before giving way to Blake Helton, who tossed a career-high 4.0 scoreless innings.
The Bears added six more runs in a huge sixth inning where the Bears batted around. Loftin led off the inning with a solo home run, his third of the year to make it 9-1. Then with a runner on second and one out, Thomas delivered his fourth double of the day, this one an RBI double to make it 10-1. With two on and two out, Josh Bissonette delivered his second triple of the year to drive home two more. The two-out rally continued as Chase Wehsener singled through the right side to bring home the sixth run of the inning, giving the Bears a 14-1 lead.
On the mound, Daniel Caruso made his second appearance in as many days, tossing one scoreless inning before giving way to Anderson Needham who put up a zero in the eighth.
In the ninth inning, the Mustangs collected two runs on two hits off Nick Loftin to make the final score, 14-3.
Helton earned his first collegiate win in the victory, while Mustangs starter Darren Nelson took the loss to fall to 1-3.
*The Bears tallied a season-best 22 hits, the most by a Baylor team since collecting 24 vs. Kansas State on April 27, 2018.
*The Bears’ 22 hits were the most at Baylor Ballpark since having 23 on May 18, 2017 vs. Kansas State.
*A. Thomas’ 5 hits on the day (5-for-5) were career best.
*A. Thomas’ 4 doubles were a career best and a team-best for the year. He was 1 double shy of tying the program record (and NCAA record) for doubles in a game.
*A. Thomas’ 4 doubles were the most since Logan Vick had 4 on Feb. 24, 2012 at UCLA.
*Helton threw a career-high 4.0 innings in relief to earn his first collegiate victory.
*All nine starters had at least one hit on the day, with eight driving in at least on RBI. Six starters had multi-hit outings.
*Davis Wendzel extended his current team-high hitting streak to eight games.
*Wendzel has now hit safely in 17 of 18 games on the year.
*Wendzel tallied 4 RBI on the day, a season-best, one away from tying his career high.
*Wendzel, Haring and Loftin each launched their third home runs of the year. Wendzel’s a three-run shot, Haring’s a two-run homer and Loftin’s a solo shot.
*Loftin’s 3 hits on the day (3-for-5) tie his season best.
*Bissonette’s 2 RBI tied his season-high.
*Bissonette collected his second triple of the year.
*Hunter Seay blasted his first hit of the season.
*Caruso appeared in his eighth game of the year.
*Loftin appeared on the mound for the second time this season.
*Anderson Needham made his fifth appearance of the year and third out of the pen.
*The Bears have had at least one extra base hit in 17 of 18 games this year.
*Brooks Helmer made his collegiate debut with his pinch-hit at bat in the bottom of the eighth inning. He then stayed in the game and played first base in the ninth.
STAT OF THE DAY
22 – The Bears blasted a season-high 22 hits, the most hits at home since having 23 on May 18, 2017 vs. Kansas State.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
On how the team played today…
“I was really happy with our aggressiveness. Somedays you can start to be over selective, but today we came out and played well. We were hitting balls all over the park and had really good results.”
-Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez
On how Andy played…
I think we might wear this uniform [gold tops] every day. I think it is huge for him to get back into his rhythm after getting over mono. People don’t realize how hard it is to come back and have to get your timing down in a game situation. I think Shea [Langeliers] is struggling with his timing right now, but it was good to get Andy in a groove out there today.”
-Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez
The Bears head out on the road for a contest at Sam Houston State on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. CT, before returning to Baylor Ballpark to open Big 12 play on Friday, March 22 vs. West Virginia at 6:35 p.m. CT.
For tickets to home games, visit: https://baylorbears.com/sports/2018/9/11/tickets.aspx [baylorbears.com]. For updates on the program follow @baylorbaseball on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.