WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball lost a 12-7 game to McNeese State on Wednesday evening at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (20-25) held a 2-0 lead until the Cowboys (24-21) dropped nine runs in the third inning, leaving BU fighting from behind the rest of the game and unable to complete the comeback.
Steven McLean’s two-run triple started the scoring in the second inning. But the lead quickly disappeared in the top of the third as McNeese State scored nine runs on seven hits, two HBPs, an error and walk. The lone multi-run play in the inning was a two-out, two-run single by Joe Provenzano.
The Bears responded with two more runs in the bottom of the third as Kameron Esthay had an RBI double and Justin Arrington an RBI single, making it a 9-4 deficit.
After a solo home run by MSU’s Shane Selman in the fourth, Darryn Sheppard launched a two-run homer in the fifth. Richard Cunningham also had an RBI single in the fifth to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 10-7.
Unfortunately, it was as close as the Bears could get as two double plays spoiled scoring chances and MSU added two more runs in the seventh.
McNeese State reliever Bryan King (5-3) earned the win, allowing no runs on a hit and walk in one inning. BU starter Kyle Hill (1-4) took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts in two innings.
*Baylor is 0-1 on its current four-game home stand.
*Baylor is 6-5 in midweek games in 2016.
*Baylor is 399-181 all-time at Baylor Ballpark and 14-15 under Steve Rodriguez.
*Baylor already has 28 home runs in 45 games in 2016, which are 11 more than the team had in 55 games in 2015 – BU has 20 or more home runs for the first time since blasting 46 in 2012.
*Kameron Esthay has a 10-game hitting streak as he posted his team-high-tying 15th multi-hit game of the season.
*Matt Menard has a nine-game on-base streak.
*Steven McLean has a three-game hitting streak as he notched his 14th multi-hit and fourth multi-RBI game of the season.
*Justin Arrington has a three-game hitting streak.
*Richard Cunningham has a three-game hitting streak as he had his 11th multi-hit game of the season.
*Darryn Sheppard hit his career-high seventh home run of the season and 13th career of his career as he had his team-high-tying 15th multi-hit and team-high 11th multi-RBI game of the season.
*West Tunnell had his second multi-hit game of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME
2.1 – The amount of scoreless innings of relief provided by Baylor pitchers Joe Heineman (1.1) and Kyle Ott (1.0).
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We knew as soon as they scored nine that we had a lot of baseball left. I said to our guys, ‘don’t focus on nine, let’s go out and get one or two, and then we will come back and get one or two more.’ Next thing you know, it’s a ballgame. We had unbelievable opportunities. Two times we had runners on first and third and we hit into double plays. That was pretty frustrating because those were great opportunities to cut the lead, even if it was just by one run, and we weren’t able to do it. We talked about as a team just being more mentally prepared in the box. The last thing was we hadn’t played in 10 days, except for what little we did last night, so hopefully this was a good wake up call for our guys to get everyone back in shape.” – Head Coach Steve Rodriguez
Baylor begins a three-game weekend series against TCU at Baylor Ballpark, starting with a 6:35 p.m. CT game on Friday on FOX Sports Plus.