Baylor University Press Release
By: Zach Rhodes
ROUND ROCK, Texas – Second-year freshman Jared McKenzie put on a show as Baylor upset No. 17 Auburn, 12-6, at the Round Rock Classic at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas on Saturday. McKenzie finished with his second multi-home run game of the season and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI to help the Bears (2-3) down the Tigers (5-2).
In front of his hometown crowd, McKenzie got back on track with a solo homer on the second pitch of the game to put Baylor up 1-0. In his next at-bat, he once again went yard with a two-run opposite field shot to extend the Bears lead to 3-0.
The Bears kept the runs coming in the fourth after scoring on a double play and an Antonio Valdez single to left field, making it 5-0 in favor of BU.
Auburn got on the board with a run in the home-half of the frame, however, Baylor responded in the top of the fifth with four runs. McKenzie scored on a dropped third strike with the bases loaded, followed by outfielder Davion Downey’s two-RBI single furthering the lead to 8-1. Valdez came up with his second RBI-single of the day to push the advantage to 9-1.
After the Tigers made it 9-2, the Bears added three more runs in the sixth when third baseman Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo roped a two-RBI single into left field. Second-year freshman Kyle Nevin followed up with another RBI-single to left to give BU the double-digit lead, 12-2.
Later in the eighth, Auburn homered to make the score 12-3 and in the ninth scored three more runs to cut the deficit to 12-6. With the bases loaded and two outs, fifth-year senior Logan Freeman shut the door with a strikeout to end the game.
Fourth-year junior Tyler Thomas (1-0) impressed in his second start of the season, throwing five innings of work while one giving up one earned run and striking out three. Auburn’s starting pitcher Richard Fitts (0-1) came up with the loss.
• McKenzie’s leadoff home run was the first for a BU player since Richard Cunningham on March 3, 2019 against Texas State.
• McKenzie has totaled four home runs to lead the team this season after hitting none in 2020.
• Nevin tied his career high by finishing 3-for-5 at the plate.
• Pineda, fifth-year senior Andy Thomas, Valdez and third-year sophomore Chase Wehsener each have hits in every game this season.
• T. Thomas picked up his first win on the mound since May 14, 2019 against UT Arlington.
• The Bears have had double-digit hits in each of the games in 2021.
• BU takes the 1-0 all-time series lead after the first meeting the two programs.
QUOTE FROM COACH ROD
“Overall I thought our offense did a good job yesterday and then today we continued to do that. Auburn had a really good pitcher on the mound and then Jared (McKenzie) leads things off with a home run to get the offense going and relaxes everyone a bit and everyone followed suit. I thought they did a great job competing at the plate and getting some key swings with guys in scoring position. Tyler Thomas did a phenomenal job getting us deeper into the game and giving us a chance to win. Jimmy Winston came in relief and did a really good job for us as well.”
BU will finish the Round Rock Classic with Oklahoma in a non-conference matchup tomorrow at 5 p.m.
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