STILLWATER, Okla. – The sixth inning of Baylor’s Big 12 season opener proved to be pivotal as the Bears (10-13, 0-1) fell to Oklahoma State (19-3, 1-0) on Friday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The game was a pitcher’s duel until the sixth as BU’s Dillon Newman allowed just two base runners through five and OSU’s Jason Hursh allowed five with five strikeouts. Baylor’s sixth started off with a Nathan Orf single and Cal Towey double. A promising start quickly turned into nothing as Duncan Wendel grounded out to third on the first pitch, Adam Toth went down looking and Steve DalPorto grounded back to Hursh.
In OSU’s half of the sixth, a one-out HBP by Gage Green and two-out single by Tanner Krietemeier gave the Cowboys their best scoring chance. With cleanup hitter Zach Fish up, he smashed a ball over the opposite field right field fence for three runs.
“We had some chances but we didn’t do a good job when we had them,” said BU Head Coach Steve Smith as Baylor left nine on base to OSU’s three. “Some of that you have to give credit to their guy. I thought he pitched pretty well, as did Dillon. The only real difference in the game was that pitch Fish hit to right field. It was a mistake fastball and Fish stayed on top of it. On a day like today with the way we were offensively, that’s all they needed.”
The Bears then went down in order in the seventh and OSU added two more runs on a squeeze bunt and wild pitch to widen the gap. BU threatened with two singles in the ninth, but again, did not get the clutch hit needed to score and keep the game alive.
Even though he was strong through five, Newman gave up more than three runs for the first time all season in his six starts. The five runs came on six hits and the HBP as he had four strikeouts in seven innings, taking his first loss (3-1).
“The stat line doesn’t do what Dillon did and how he pitched justice, but that’s how the game is,” Smith said. “It could’ve been a different story for him as well but we didn’t get any runs in.”
Hursh earned the win (3-0) after throwing eight shutout innings while allowing five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.
The teams continue their Big 12 opening series tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT and Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday’s pitching matchup features BU RHP Max Garner (1-3, 3.18 ERA) against OSU RHP Mark Robinette (1-0, 4.05 ERA) while Sunday’s starters are TBA.