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No. 12 Bears sweep double header against Holy Cross

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Posted at 11:49 PM, Feb 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-17 00:49:11-05

WACO, Texas – No. 12/15 Baylor baseball continued its strong start to the 2019 season on Saturday, taking both ends of a doubleheader with two 8-5 victories over Holy Cross at Baylor Ballpark.

The Bears (3-0) used a pair of late comebacks and a walk-off home run by Ryan Bertelsman to sweep both games over the Crusaders (0-3).

In game one, Baylor saw itself trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth before the offense pushed across two runs on a Holy Cross throwing error and Richard Cunningham sacrifice fly. The Bears then knotted the score in the seventh inning thanks to consecutive RBI knocks by Josh Bissonette and Cole Haring.

After the Crusaders climbed ahead 5-4 in the top of the 10th, the Bears rallied back in the bottom half with a Nick Loftin lead off single and a Davion Downey RBI double that tied the game. The next batter, Chase Wehsener, walked and Bertelsman followed with the game-winning home run.

In game two, the Bears spotted Holy Cross a two-run lead in the top of the third after committing three errors and allowing three walks. However, in the bottom half Baylor promptly answered with back-to-back singles by Cunningham and Loftin, an RBI groundout by Langeliers, and an RBI single by Downey to tie the score 2-2.

Holy Cross took the lead back in the fifth after scoring three runs, but that’s all they would get as the Bears got solid contributions out of junior lefty Paul Dickens and redshirt sophomore right-hander Daniel Caruso out of the pen.

Baylor pushed across one run in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh to steam ahead 8-5. Bertelsman and Loftin each added an RBI apiece and Davis Wendzel drove in two more runs.

Cunningham was a stellar 5-for-5 in the night cap with three extra base hits, including a two-run triple. He came up a home run shy of the cycle.

The two Baylor wins clinched a series victory over the Crusaders with the four-game finale still to follow on Sunday.

GAME ONE NOTES

*Redshirt sophomore OF Ryan Bertelsman hit his first career home run with the walk-off three-run blast.

*This is the Bears’ first walk-off win since May 27, 2018 vs. TCU when Shea Langeliers knocked in the winning run to earn Baylor the Big 12 Tournament Championship title. It’s the first Baylor walk-off home run since April 18, 2017 (Davis Wendzel vs Stephen F. Austin).

*Senior 2B Josh Bissonette became Baylor’s all-time career leader in sacrifice hits (24) with his sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning.

*Sophomore LHP Tyler Thomas recorded six strikeouts in just three innings of work.

*Redshirt sophomore RHP Jimmy Winston set a career-high for relief innings pitched with 4.0 and tied a career-high with three strikeouts.

*Junior RHP Luke Boyd struck out the side in the eighth inning and added a fourth punchout in the ninth to tie his career-high.

*Bertelsman added his second pinch hit in as many games.

*Sophomore Nick Loftin, sophomore Davion Downey, senior Cole Haring, Langeliers, Bertelsman and Bissonette all recorded their first multi-hit games of the season.

GAME TWO NOTES

*Redshirt senior Richard Cunningham went 5-for-5 with three extra-base hits, tallying his second career five-hit game. He was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.

*Redshirt sophomore RHP Daniel Caruso earned his first career win and set a career high with three strikeouts while matching a career high with two innings of relief.

*Junior LHP Paul Dickens made his Baylor debut, throwing 3.2 innings in relief and recording four strikeouts.

*Senior RHP Kyle Hill earned his first save of the season and second of his career.

*Redshirt freshman Chase Wehsener recorded his first career hit.

*Four Baylor batters were hit by a pitch in game one, and another was plunked in game two, moving the season total to 10 HBP through the first three games of the season.

*The Bears have won three straight games for the first time in 2019. The team won three in a row during three separate win streaks of five, six, and 13 games last season. 

*Shea Langeliers extended his on-base streak (going back to last season) to 16 games.

*Josh Bissonette and Nick Loftin extended their on-base streaks (going back to last season) to 10 games each.

*Davion Downey has a six-game on-base streak and five-game hitting streak, the longest current hitting streak on the club.

*The Bears will go for their first four-game series sweep tomorrow since defeating Louisiana Tech in 2011 in all four games.

STAT OF THE DAY
29 – Total number of Baylor hits between the two games (15 game one, 14 game two).

QUOTE OF THE DAY
On Ryan Bertelsman’s walk-off home run in game one…
“For a guy who got his first hit yesterday, he has gone through a lot of different things due to his arm injuries and stuff. He gives his life to Christ and he makes this team, and he was able to do that today. You are super excited for the team, super excited for Bertelsman, super excited for the moment that he had. Not many people have that, it’s special.”

- Baylor Head Coach Steve Rodriguez [baylorbears.com]

WHAT'S NEXT
The Bears and Crusaders will cap off the four-game series with a Sunday matinee at 12:05 p.m. CT.

BU RHP Anderson Needham is slated to take the mound in his collegiate debut.