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No. 12 Bears defeat Holy Cross 12-0 on Opening Day

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Posted at 11:53 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-16 00:53:38-05

WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball opened the 2019 season with a 12-0 win over Holy Cross. The Bears shut out the Crusaders after seven strong innings by starter Hayden Kettler and scoreless appearances from Ryan Leckich and William Gilbert.

Baylor pushed across two runs right off the bat in the first inning after Davis Wendzel singled in Richard Cunningham. Nick Loftin later scored thanks to a Cole Haring fielder’s choice.

The Bears added three runs in back-to-back innings highlighted by a Wendzel RBI double to lead 8-0 after four. Baylor scored four more in the bottom of the six as Haring picked up an RBI knock, a wild pitch saw Shea Langeliers cross the plate, Mack Mueller tallied his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly, and Josh Bissonette drove in his first run of the year with another sac fly.

Kettler (1-0) earned the win tossing seven innings while allowing four hits and one walk with a career-high eight strikeouts. Leckich recorded one punchout and Gilbert racked up his first two career K’s in a scoreless ninth.

NOTES
*For the second-straight season Baylor shut out its opening day opponent. In 2018 the Bears defeated Houston Baptist 1-0 on opening day, followed by today’s 12-0 showing.

*The Bears have now won 5 of last 6 on opening day and 12 of last 13 opening day contest.

*The 12-run margin of victory is the largest since a 15-1 victory over Centenary in 1997.

*The Bears have won 7 of their last 8 home openers and 12 of last 14. Overall, they improve to 75-24 in their home opener.

*Junior RHP Hayden Kettler earned the win on opening day, notching a career-high 8 strikeouts and tied his career-high with 7.0 innings pitched.

*The Bears scored 12 runs on just nine hits.

*Richard Cunningham and Davis Wendzel each had three hits on the day.

*Wendzel and Cole Haring led the way with 2 RBI apiece.

*Cunningham is now 7-for-13 on opening days (over 4 seasons).

*The Bears were hit-by-the-pitch 5 times, Davion Downey was hit twice.

*The Bears took advantage of miscues by the Crusaders, scoring 3 unearned runs, aided by 2 fielding errors and 2 wild pitches and 1 passed ball.

*RS sophomore OF Ryan Bertelsman connected on his first-career hit, a single up the middle in the eighth inning.

*Redshirt freshman OF Chase Wehsener, INF Ricky Martinez and RHP William Gilbert made their collegiate debuts.

*1B Mack Mueller made his Baylor debut in the start.

*DH Cole Weaver earned his first start at Baylor Ballpark.

STAT OF THE GAME
8 – The amount of strikeouts Hayden Kettler tallied, a career high.

QUOTE OF THE GAME
On Hayden Kettler and his opening day outing…

“I will tell you what, I am very proud of him for coming out and doing what he did. He was pounding the zone early in counts. He was getting the hitters out on their heels a little bit, forcing them to take some swings and pitches maybe they wouldn’t traditionally take because he was doing really well getting ahead of the hitters. I was really happy with what he did. He got really deep into the game for us, which is great, and he threw a lot of strikes early, which really helps, along with beating them with his slider.”

- Baylor Head Coach Steve Rodriguez [baylorbears.com]

WHAT'S NEXT
The Bears and Crusaders play a doubleheader Saturday with game one scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CT and game two to follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The teams will finish the series Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT.

For tickets, visit: https://baylorbears.com/sports/2018/9/11/tickets.aspx [baylorbears.com]. For updates on the program follow @baylorbaseball on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.