Baylor Press Release
By: Rachel Caton
WACO, Texas – The Bears came through with a big ninth-inning rally to defeat Texas State 5-4 on Sunday afternoon to finish out the 2019 Shriners Hospital College Baseball Classic.
The Bears (9-2) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, as Richard Cunningham took the second pitch of the game over the right field wall for his first homer of the year and the second run came home on a fielder’s choice.
The Bobcats (7-4) answered back with two more runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Baylor starter Cody Bradford went three innings, striking out four while walking just one and allowed two runs on three hits.
The game was tied 2-2 until the bottom of the fourth when Texas State took advantage of reliever Anderson Needham’s wildness to plate two more runs.
The Bears’ bullpen of Jimmy Winston, Jacob Ashkinos, Daniel Caruso and Kyle Hill combined to throw 5.2 scoreless innings down the stretch to keep the Bears in the game and allowing for the comeback.
Winston threw 1.2 innings of one-hit baseball, entering in the fourth to get the Bears out of the jam and throwing a clean fifth inning. Ashkinos made his 2019 debut by throwing a scoreless sixth inning and Caruso threw 1.2 innings before giving way to Hill who got the final out of the eighth and earned the win by pitching a scoreless ninth.
The Bears chipped back at the two-run deficit by adding one more in the sixth on an RBI single from Andy Thomas, his first hit of the year.
The ninth inning rally started as Cunningham battled through a nine-pitch at bat and was down to the last strike before lacing a ground-rule double down the left field line. Nick Loftin singled to right to tie the game at 4-4. Davis Wendzel rocked a double to left field and Loftin was being waved around from second the entire way and slid in under the attempted tag by catcher Felipe Rodriguez to take the lead, 5-4.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hill, who entered in the eighth inning to get the last out was able to preserve the win, with some help by Davion Downey, who made an outstanding grab in right-center on a well-struck ball.
The win is the second of the year for Hill who is now 2-0, while the Bobcats’ Brent Herbert took the loss to fall to 1-1.