ARLINGTON (March 13, 2012) -- Baylor took a 4-2 lead to the bottom of the ninth, but the Bears made an error on a potential double play grounder that could’ve ended the game, and UT Arlington took advantage and rallied for a 5-4 win on Tuesday night at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Baylor (11-7) pitchers Austin Stone and Dillon Newman combined to hold UT Arlington (11-7) hitless for 7.2 innings after a one-out RBI single in the first inning, but Jake Pinchback’s single in the ninth loaded the bases with no outs after the first two batters in the inning reached on a walk and a hit by pitch.
Max Garner (1-2) induced a grounder on the left side of the infield that Cal Towey took to third base for the first out of the inning, but it scored a run to cut the Baylor lead to 4-3. Cody Dyvig then hit a grounder to Lawton Langford that had a chance to be a game-ending double play, but Jake Miller mishandled Langford’s flip and all runners were safe, loading the bases with one out.
“To lose this game tonight is pretty hard to believe,” head coach Steve Smith said. “It’s just one of those games where we executed fairly well on offense. We hit some balls right at some people, and that’s the way the game of baseball is – you can out-hit somebody, you can out-play them, but if it’s close you have no margin for error. You can’t walk the leadoff guy, you can’t hit the next guy and you can’t boot a routine double-play ball.”
Greg McCall then tied the game with a single to left field, and pinch hitter Preston Morrow followed with a sacrifice fly to score Jordan Vaughn with the game-winning run.
The Bears out-hit UTA 10-4, and the Mavericks sent 27 straight batters to the plate without recording a hit before Pinchback’s single in the ninth.
Baylor took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Towey reached on a one-out bunt single, Max Muncy doubled down the right-field line and Josh Ludy delivered a RBI single.
Stone allowed a single and a walk with one out in the bottom of the first, and Michael Guerra hit a fly ball to right field that was misjudged and ended up going to the wall for a two-run double to tie the game. After a walk, Stone settled down and retired seven straight before a two-out walk in the third.
The Bears answered with two more runs to take a 4-2 lead in the top of the second. Miller led off with a bunt single for his fifth hit in as many trips to the plate, dating back to Sunday’s doubleheader, but he was picked off first base.
Logan Brown reached on an error with two outs and stole second base, and Nathan Orf knocked a RBI single to put the Bears back in front. Orf moved all the way to third base on a failed pickoff attempt, and he came around to score on a wild pitch.
Newman came on in relief to start the fourth inning and set the tone quickly, striking out four batters in his first two innings of work. He ended up working a career-high 5.0 perfect innings, retiring all 15 batters faced with a career-high-tying five strikeouts on 71 pitches.
Garner was called in from the bullpen to start the ninth inning against the heart of UTA’s batting order. He walked Preston Beck and hit Guerra to bring the potential winning run to the plate in Pinchback. Garner took the loss after allowing three runs – two of which were earned – in 0.2 inning.
UTA used six pitchers in the game, and Chad Nack (1-2) got the win after retiring the only batter he faced in the top of the ninth.
Muncy and Brown had two hits apiece for the Bears. Brown stole two bases and scored a run, and Muncy had a run and one RBI in his 100th consecutive start at first base.
Baylor returns home this weekend to host Texas Tech in a three-game series to open Big 12 Conference play. First pitch in Friday’s series opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark.