WACO (May 14, 2013) -- Baylor avenged an early season loss to UT San Antonio Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears were sparked by a 2-for-4 performance at the plate by designated hitter Wes Mercurio.
“I thought our hitters looked pretty fresh,” BU Head Coach Steve Smith said. “The guys who pitched were sharp and we turned some plays. We played well behind our pitchers. I played Wes -- he is a senior, it’s the last home game. He hit a homerun and it was awesome, then he gets back up and hits a double.”
Baylor (26-23) struggled in the first inning allowing a one-out walk and a single to advance Daniel Rocket into scoring position. However, the Bears were able to force an inning-saving double play to get out of the threat without allowing a run.
In the second inning, the Bears gave up a leadoff double to Tony Ramirez that came around to score thanks to a Jesse Baker single with two outs.
“They are a very good offensive team,” Smith said. “That was the best UTSA offensive team that I can remember, they swung the bat well. I am proud of the job that [UTSA Associate Head Coach] Jim Blair has done with them as a former Baylor Bear. To see him coaching and his hitters do such a good job, that’s a good moment for them.”
The Bears answered back with a two-run second inning. Jake Miller reached on a single to left before Mercurio -- in only his second career start and 20th- plate appearance of the season -- homered to right-center to give the Bears a 2-1 advantage in the game.
“I didn’t know what the lineup was going to be during batting practice,” Mercurio said. “I felt that if Coach Smith gave me an at-bat that I would hit one out.”
UTSA (28-23) was able to regain the lead in the game in the top of the third, though. Baylor starter Ryan Smith gave up a leadoff single and a walk before RJ Prick reached on a fielder’s choice late throw to second to load the bases with no outs. Mike Warren was able to drive in a run with a slow spinning grounder back to the pitcher to tie the game. Tony Ramirez then batted in the go ahead run with a grounder to first.
The Bears regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Mercurio recorded his second extra base hit, the fifth of his career, with a double to start off the inning. After a Steve Deport walk and a Brett Doe sacrifice bunt, Logan Brown, who made his first start in the field since breaking his ring finger in the TCU series, drove in the run with a ground out to second. Lawton Langford followed with an RBI single to right field to put the Bears up 4-3.
The Baylor pitching staff carried the team for the rest of the game with solid defensive support in the field. The Bears recorded their second double play of the evening in the top of the seventh to get Josh Michael out of a jam that began with a leadoff walk.
Baylor closed out the game by retiring eight of the last nine batters, including a fly out to left field by Riley Good to end the game.
Picking up the win in relief for Baylor was Doug Ashby (2-0) as he threw two shutout innings while giving up two hits. Crayton Bare come on in the ninth to close the door for his fifth save.
The Bears will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Lubbock for their last Big 12 series of the regular season. First pitch against Texas Tech is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday and Friday, with Saturday’s action set to get underway at noon.