WACO (February 19, 2013) -- Baylor Baseball took advantage of the comforts of Baylor Ballpark en route to a 6-3 win over Texas State in the home opener Tuesday night. The Bears (1-3) used a four-run second inning and six innings of stellar relief to secure their first win of the 2013 campaign. Meanwhile, the Bobcats (1-3) stranded 14 runners and were unable to take full advantage of five BU errors.
“Given how the game was played with the errors and the number of walks, I think it is a pretty amazing win,” said Baylor Head Coach Steve Smith. “I think it is a hard way to win a game when they get as many base runners as they did. I think we made a lot of pitches and moved the runners out there and got some outs. I was really pleasantly surprised to see how Sean Spicer handled the start.”
Spicer, who only had 0.2 innings of work in his career entering the game, was on a pitch count and used his 63 pitches to navigate a career-high three innings of work. In his first career win (1-0), the sophomore allowed just one hit while surrendering three walks. He gave up an unearned run and tallied a career-best three strikeouts.
After two errors behind him allowed a first inning run – one a missed double play chance and the other would’ve prevented the run from scoring – Spicer cruised through the second inning without a hitch. But two walks and another error – this time of his own doing – load the bases with two outs in the third. However, he settled down and induced a groundout to escape.
“I was impressed with Sean, I really was,” Smith said. “I was impressed with his stuff, I was impressed with his command and the fact that he was filling up the strike zone. He got us off to a really good start.”
Giving Spicer some help was a two-out RBI single up the middle by Mitch Price in the first that tied the game after Lawton Langford doubled in front of him. An inning later, the Bears’ bats gave Spicer even more cushion with four runs on five hits.
Duncan Wendel led off the second with a single, and after a Jake Miller double, scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Brown. Nate Goodwin followed with an RBI single over a drawn-in infield. An out later, Nathan Orf doubled on a well-placed pop up that landed on the right field foul line, scoring Adam Toth from first base. After Langford reached on an infield single, a wild pitch pushed home the fourth run of the inning.
“The only inning where we really got anything going it was the bottom of the order that got us going,” said Smith. “Their guy was throwing a lot of strikes and that is not a bad guy to start a runner off on and try to swing a bat. Jake Miller did a good job of staying on it and hitting it the other way and it kind of sparked us. We were just able to turn some things into four runs right there.”
From there, the Baylor bullpen went to work as Austin Stone, Doug Ashby, Crayton Bare, Trae Davis, Kolt Browder and Ryan Smith finished off the game. The group combined for six innings of work and allowed two runs, one unearned, on five hits and six walks with four strikeouts. Browder came in to get the Bears out of an eighth inning two-on, two-out jam. Smith then came in during the ninth with two outs and the tying run on deck to get a fly out to right to end it, earning the save.
The loss was given to Texas State starter Andrew Boes after allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. The Bobcat bullpen threw 6.1 innings of one-run ball, surrendering a sixth inning run on a two-out RBI bunt single by Orf.
Orf paced the way for the second straight game for the Bears, going 3-for-4 with two RBI, a run scored, stolen base and double. Langford went 2-for-3, while Price, Wendel, Miller, Brown and Goodwin had a hit apiece.
The Bears continue a five-game home stand this weekend by welcoming No. 2 UCLA to Baylor Ballpark for a three-game series. Friday’s game is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT, Saturday is set for 3:05 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will be at 1:05 p.m.