WACO, Texas (KWTX) The No.15-ranked Baylor baseball team extended its winning streak to six games after taking both ends of a doubleheader over Kansas State Saturday at Baylor Ballpark.
The Bears finished off a 4-3 win from Friday night’s suspended series opener and returned to the diamond to take Saturday’s regularly scheduled game 11-6.
Baylor (32-12, 14-5 Big 12) used home runs from Nick Loftin and Andy Thomas between the two games to down the Wildcats (22-26, 6-11 Big 12) and maintain its spot atop the Big 12 standings.
In Friday night’s series opener, the Bears made two uncharacteristic errors in the first inning that the Wildcats took full advantage of, as Terrence Spurlin hit a three-run homer with two outs to put the Bears in a 3-0 hole early.
The Bears answered back in the bottom of the first inning, as Thomas delivered a two-out bloop single to pull the Bears within one, 3-1.
Baylor starter Paul Dickens started to cruise after the first, facing the minimum in the second and third, and following with zeros in the fourth and fifth innings.
The Bears tied the ballgame up in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Loftin connected on his sixth homer of the year, a two-run shot to make it a 3-3 ballgame before the first weather delay of the game. After Loftin's homer, the game was delayed for 56 minutes due to lightning.
The game picked back up in the bottom of the fifth with new pitchers for both sides. Baylor's LHP Ryan Leckich took over in the top of the sixth and put up a zero, but play was stopped again in the bottom of the sixth and would be suspended for the next day.
Upon resuming play on Saturday, Josh Bissonette strolled to the plate with two men already aboard and singled to load the bases for the Bears. K-State reliever Mitch Zubradt then walked Cole Weaver that allowed the go-ahead run to score and made it to 4-3, Bears.
From there, the Baylor bullpen put up three zeros as Leckich, Luke Boyd and Kyle Hill combined to shut down the Wildcats’ offense. Leckich earned the win and improved to 4-0. Hill tallied four strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings and picked up his seventh save of the season in the victory.
In game two, the Bears had no delay in getting on the scoreboard, putting a five-spot up in the bottom of the first. Richard Cunningham singled in a run and later scored on a two-run homer from Thomas. Bissonette added an RBI double and the Bears got one more off a Kansas State error.
Kansas State answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the second, but BU starter Jimmy Winston was able to limit the damage and then put up zeros in the next two frames to see a 5-2 Baylor lead through to the bottom of the fourth inning.
Cole Haring extended the Bears lead with an RBI knock in the bottom of the fourth and Wildcats starter Caleb Littlejim was called for a balk that scored Thomas and made it 7-2. After K-State went to the bullpen, the Bears added another three runs on a run-scoring single by Bissonette, a wild pitch, and an RBI knock by Weaver to go up 10-2.
In the top of the sixth, the Wildcats chased Winston from the mound as part of a four-run inning, trimming the Baylor advantage to 10-6. The Wildcats threatened once again in the seventh, but reliever Daniel Caruso buckled down to strikeout the side after hitting a batter and walking the next.
Caruso carried that momentum into the eighth as he put up another zero and collected two more K’s, totaling a career-high five punchouts in his outing. Thomas provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning before Boyd came on to shut things down in the ninth.