WACO (March 5, 2013) -- Baylor took advantage of an ugly first inning of defense by Louisiana Tech for a 4-2 win at Baylor Ballpark on Tuesday night. The Bears’ (6-6) three runs in the first held up for their sixth straight win over the Bulldogs (3-9) and put BU at .500 for the first time in the 2013 campaign.
Four Bulldog errors in the bottom of the first helped the Bears plate three important runs. With Logan Brown on first base after a leadoff walk, Nathan Orf was the beneficiary of two dropped foul balls, and he made it hurt by roping a single to left. As LA Tech’s Kody Neel tried to field Orf’s ball on one hop, it zoomed past his glove and allowed Brown to score and Orf to reach third.
Then, with Cal Towey up, a wild pitch by Ben Carlisle scored Orf. After Towey took one for the team, Duncan Wendel singled on a liner to center that Colby Johnson had trouble fielding. The error enabled both runners to take an extra base. Taking advantage of the scoring chance, Jake Miller brought Towey home on a sacrifice fly for what proved to be the game-winning run.
The Bulldogs answered back in the third with two runs on a two-out double by Taylor Terrasas, but BU starter Sean Spicer allowed nothing else as he induced a groundout to escape. The Baylor bullpen then backed up Spicer to seal the win with 4.1 innings of hitless and scoreless relief.
Josh Michalec was first out of the pen and got Terrasas swinging to leave two on base in the fifth. After a walk by Michalec to start the seventh, Bobby McCormack came in. The lefty walked his first batter but got a fly out before giving way to Ryan Smith. BU’s main back end guy inherited two runners and left both on base after a fly out and swinging strikeout on Terrasas.
“I thought Sean, for his second career start and as much as he struggled, he got us through five innings,” said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. “Michalec came in and got a big out when he came in and then was able to get a few more outs behind it. I think McCormick, at the point of the game I used him was probably not the best time, but he was my one lefty that was up. They forced his hand a bit; he got the one out and then had a couple walks in there. I thought Ryan looked pretty sharp. I thought he had the best stuff I've seen him have.”
Smith finished the game on cruise control to pick up his third save in a 2.2-inning, two-strikeout perfect performance. He nailed down the first career win for Michalec (1-1), who had two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Spicer took a no-decision after surrendering two runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 4.2 frames.
Carlisle (0-1) took the loss for the Bulldogs after allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Orf paced the way for the BU offense with two hits and a run scored in four at-bats. Towey drove in Baylor’s fourth run of the game on a groundout in the fifth to extend his career-high streak of games with an RBI to eight.
“Cal’s given us competitive at-bats,” Smith said. “He puts a little fear in [the opponent]. The left side of the infield is really solid. That’s the part of the game that goes unnoticed a lot. You have to catch it and throw it to not beat yourself. And I think that’s how we won this game. We caught the ball and we didn’t beat ourselves.”
The Bears and Bulldogs meet again tomorrow at 4 p.m. CT as BU LHP Sterling Wynn (0-0, 5.79 ERA) matches up against RHP Omar Ugarte (1-1, 6.48 ERA).