Baylor Baseball Comes up Short in Series Finale to No. 19 Texas, 7-6

KWTX News 10 at 10P
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 12:07 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (Sic’Em 365) – Baylor baseball (13-23, 5-10) fell in the series finale to No. 19 Texas (26-12, 8-4), 7-6, Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.

Only down a run heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Bears were unable to recreate the late-inning magic that they’d experienced the past two games.

Junior RF Cole Tremain led off the ninth with a hard-fought walk but was thrown out on a delayed attempt to steal second base, which killed any hope of a BU rally.

“There are decisions that I made that I’ve got to do a better job,” coach Mitch Thompson said after the loss. “Just frustrating to come up one run short. I appreciated the guys’ effort. I thought they played really hard; they competed hard. [We expected to win. We had a great crowd. That part of it is disappointing, but we’ve got to give credit to Texas.”

Despite the Longhorns pitching staff combining to issue 12 walks, Baylor’s offense picked up just five hits in the contest.

One of those five hits came from yesterday’s hero, sophomore 3B Hunter Teplanszky, who extended his on-base streak to 24 games and his hitting streak to 12 games with a 1-4, two RBI performance.

Defense continued to be an issue for the Bears. BU finished with three errors in the series finale and has recorded 47 errors on the season, while its opponents have combined for 33.

“It’s always frustrating when you give a team like that extra opportunities,” Thompson said. “A couple of them; we just got to make some better plays. [Texas] gave us fits with their speed … Their bunting game gave us fits. Fly balls with the high sky and sun and wind gave us fits. We took notes. We’ll go to work. We’ll see if we can improve.”

Texas’ starter, Travis Sthele, handed out only 10 walks in 36.2 innings pitched entering Sunday.

In the second inning, Sthele handed out four free passes, including a bases-loaded walk to sophomore 2B Austin Stracener. Freshman CF Caleb Bergman followed Stracener with an RBI fielder’s choice to extend the Bears’ lead to 2-0.

The Longhorns had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the third but managed to plate just one run in the frame on Sunday’s starter Will Rigney.

Rigney, who didn’t have his best stuff on the afternoon, surrendered two more runs in the top of the fifth to give UT the lead, 3-2. The Waco Midway product threw five innings and allowed three earned runs and six hits on 83 pitches while striking out a career-high nine batters.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Bergman delivered a game-tying RBI single up the middle. And later in the inning, Teplanszky crushed a two-run, go-ahead double off of the centerfield wall to give the Bears back the lead, 5-3.

Texas responded with a three-spot in the following frame, partially due to some defensive struggles on Baylor’s part. The Bears had two errors in the inning, including an errant throw from Teplanszky at third.

UT added an insurance run with a solo homer off of veteran reliever Hambleton Oliver in the eighth.

Freshman SS Kolby Branch came through with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Longhorns’ lead to 7-6 but was picked off at first to end the inning.