WACO (March 12, 2013) -- An outstanding bullpen performance was overshadowed by tough second and third innings for Baylor as Houston won 5-3 at Baylor Ballpark on Tuesday night.
BU (7-10) starter Sterling Wynn cruised through the first inning with two strikeouts and one hit given up, but experienced issues in the next two frames. With two outs in the second, he surrendered a walk and then three straight hits, including a two-run double by Josh Vidales that gave Houston (13-4) a 3-0 lead.
To start the third, Wynn hit a batter and allowed a single. Baylor immediately went to Sean Spicer, but he was unable to keep both of Wynn’s runners from scoring as a passed ball and sacrifice bunt plated both runs to give the Cougars an early 5-0 lead.
"[Houston] didn't do anything to aid [a comeback] and that is sometimes what you need,” said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. “I thought that from a pitching standpoint we were really good coming out of the pen, but they were too. It was kind of a stalemate there for the last four or five innings. I give them credit. They got some hits early. When Sterling came out I thought his first inning was pretty crisp. Once they had a chance to get a feel for him and the number of fastballs he was throwing, they took some pretty good swings at him."
After getting out of the inning, though, Spicer and the rest of the bullpen gave the Bears a chance to come back by posting no hits and no runs over the final six innings. Spicer accrued four of those innings, allowing three walks and striking out three. Crayton Bare covered 1.2 frames with two walks and a strikeout. Ryan Smith finished the last 1.1 innings with a strikeout.
With the bullpen holding strong, Baylor answered in the third and fourth. Nathan Orf dropped a beautiful RBI bunt down the third base line to score Logan Brown after he stole second and third to make it a 5-1 game in the third.
In the fourth, Lawton Langford doubled home Steve DalPorto, who led off the inning with a single. Langford then came home on a Houston fielding error. An out later, Brown walked to set up Adam Toth with two on and two out but he flew out to center field.
The Bears had two other good chances to score in the fifth and sixth but failed to convert both times. In the fifth, Cal Towey was left at third after a one-out single. In the sixth, Langford and Brown singles were left stranded on another Toth fly out to center.
Earning the win for UH was Aaron Garza (2-0) after he allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Dylan Rucker finished the final 3.1 innings without allowing a hit or walk to earn his first save of the season.
Wynn (0-1) took the loss after surrendering five runs (four earned) on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
The Bears begin a stretch of road games as eight of their next nine are away from Baylor Ballpark, including the start of Big 12 play. The first stop is in Houston this weekend starting with a Friday 2 p.m. CT game against New Orleans. BU will face UNO again on Saturday at 2 p.m. as part of a doubleheader before taking on Houston at 6:30 p.m.