Baylor beats Wright State to stay alive in regional play
Hoping to negate a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning, Wright State brought in the infield after Shea Langeliers led off with a double.
But it was a Baylor freshman that broke a 4-4 tie and opened the floodgates.
Davion Downey faked a sac bunt and bounced an infield single over Wright State reliever Derek Hendrixson that resulted in the eventual game-winning RBI single to help the Baylor Bears to an 11-5 win over the Raiders in an elimination game Saturday afternoon.
"We were very fortunate that the pitcher wasn't taller because it went off his glove and into center field," Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez said. "It's a testament to Davion being a freshman in this environment where you can execute those types of things. It goes to the growth and maturity he's gone through this year."
Baylor (37-20) scored seven runs in the final two innings to keep its season alive for at least one more day. After Downey's RBI single, Josh Bissonette padded the lead with an RBI single before Davis Wendzel came through with a two-run single.
That was plenty of support for Bears reliever Kyle Hill, who entered in the sixth inning and worked around a passed ball and hit by pitch to leave runners stranded on the corners.
"Shea and I had some signs mixed up but it was my fault," said Hill. "The next guy got hit but it still didn't bother me because I had another base open. That was kind of my mindset. If I had to walk two guys to get to the hitter I want, that's fine, just don't let them score."
The junior righthander earned his fourth win in five decisions, striking out three and giving up just one hit in 2 1/3 innings.
The Bears tacked on three runs in the ninth on RBI singles from Cole Haring and Bissonette, as well as a fielder's choice.
While it wasn't the most efficient outing for Hayden Kettler, who gave up four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, the Baylor starting pitcher bent a few times but didn't break.
"Even for Texas kids, it's still pretty hot out there," Rodriguez said. "He did a phenomenal job. They're a really good team, he made a couple of mistakes and they punished him."
Baylor had six players with multi-hit efforts, led by Richard Cunningham's three hits in six at-bats. Loftin, Wendzel, Downey, Haring and Bissonette each had two of the Bears' 16 hits.
The Bears will play another elimination game against either Stanford or Cal State Fullerton Sunday at 3 p.m.