OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The No. 2-seeded Bears were eliminated from the 2019 Big 12 Championship with a 5-2 loss to No. 6 TCU in a suspended game that was completed on Saturday morning at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Bears’ pitching staff of Jacob Ashkinos, Logan Freeman, Ryan Leckich, Luke Boyd, Daniel Caruso and Kyle Hill only allowed one walk on the day and struck out 10, but the Horned Frogs (31-25) got some big, timely hits, putting up three in the third as the Bears (34-17) struggled to get going against TCU’s Brandon Williamson.
The Bears were led by Richard Cunningham, Davis Wendzel and Josh Bissonette, who each had two hits on the day. Cunningham is in the midst of a 23-game hitting streak, tied for the third-longest in college baseball this season, while Bissonette launched his third home run of the year.
The Horned Frogs got on the board with three runs on four hits in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. The Bears answered right back with one of their own, as Nick Loftin led off the inning with a triple and Shea Langeliers delivered a one-out sac fly to make it 3-1.
The Horned Frogs added one more in the fourth and one in the seventh to push their lead to 5-1.
Bissonette connected on his third home run of the year, a solo shot to left field to cut the Horned Frogs’ lead to three.
With the top of the eighth inning about to begin at 9:21 p.m., the game entered a weather delay. It was later decided that due to unplayable field conditions that the game would be suspended until Saturday morning.
The game resumed at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the top of the eighth inning and reliever Caruso made quick work of the Horned Frogs, setting them down in order with two strikeouts.
The Bears had a base runner in the bottom half of the eighth as they looked to cut into the lead, but were unable to get anything going.
Closer Hill entered to set the Horned Frogs down in order in the ninth, keeping the Bears within three as they entered the last frame, but the offense was unable to get anything going.
Baylor starter Ashkinos took the loss to fall to 2-4 on the year, while TCU starter Williamson, who kept the Bears off-balance for 7.0 innings earned the win, improving to 4-5.
The Bears will now wait to find out where they are heading for NCAA Regionals. The selection show is set for 11 a.m. CT on Monday, 27 and we be televised live on ESPNU.
*Baylor is 49-49 all-time at conference championships, 37-39 in the Big 12. BU owns a 33-33 mark in Oklahoma City.
*Baylor is 2-4 vs. TCU in the Big 12 Championship and went 4-1 this season against TCU.
*Baylor and Oklahoma are the only two teams to qualify for all 23 Big 12 Championships.
*Baylor has won 34 or more games in a season for the third-straight year (36 in 2018), (34 in 2017), giving the program back-to-back-to-back 34-win seasons for the first time since 2005 (46), 2006 (37) and 2007 (35).
*Richard Cunningham extended his hit streak to 23 games, a career high.
*Starter Jacob Ashkinos made his 19th appearance of the year, sixth start, allowing three runs on six hits in 3.0 innings, striking out three.
*The Bears’ pitching staff walked just one batter, the ninth time this year the Bears allowed just one walk. The Bears are now 7-2 in games where they walk just one batter.
* Nick Loftin [baylorbears.com] has a 10-game hit streak.
*Cunningham, Wendzel and Bissonette each had two hits on the day.
*Bissonette launched his third home run of the year.
*Logan Freeman made his eighth appearance of the year out of the bullpen, tossing 1.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit with one strikeout.
*Daniel Caruso made is 24th appearance on the year, throwing a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts.
*Luke Boyd made his 23rd appearance of the year, tossing 1.0 inning and allowing one run on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts.
*For the second-straight game the Bears’ pitching staff had double-digit strikeouts, finishing with 10 after having 15 against Oklahoma State.
*Ryan Leckich made his team-leading 28th appearance out of the pen, allowing one hit and striking out one.
*Closer Kyle Hill made his 22nd appearance of the year, tossing a flawless ninth inning with one strikeout.
STAT OF THE DAY
23 – Richard Cunningham is in the midst of a 23-game hitting streak, the longest of his career, tied for the third-longest hitting streak in college baseball this season.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
On tonight’s game…
"I am proud of our guys. They came out with a lot of energy. We prepared for this. We played at 9 a.m. every game last year, so we were really excited about this because we have done it. It just didn’t go our way. Hats off to TCU. Williamson was great. They executed and we didn’t, bottom line. We are also excited to go home, regroup and look forward to the next chapter.
- Baylor assistant coach Jon Strauss
The Bears will wait to hear their name called for the 2019 NCAA Regionals. The field will be announced on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m. CT. The selection show will be televised live on ESPNU.