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Baylor Baseball

Baylor Baseball Rallies Back from Eight-Run Deficit, Beats Oklahoma State, 13-11

May 19, 2022
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WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball (26-24, 7-15) beat No. 8 Oklahoma State (34-18, 13-9) in miraculous comeback fashion on Thursday night at Baylor Ballpark, 13-11.

The Bears overcame an eight-run deficit on their way to victory. It was their largest comeback win since 2017. Baylor had only three hits and trailed 11-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. A wild eight-run frame tied the game late. And in the bottom of the ninth, Antonio Valdez sealed the comeback win in epic fashion with a walk-off home run to clinch the Bears a spot in the Big 12 Tournament.

Heading into Thursday night’s game, the magic number for the Bears was one. Either Baylor had to win, or Kansas had to lose for BU to clinch a spot in the conference tournament. 

Tonight’s game had essentially everything you could think of in a baseball game, along with a wide array of emotions being expressed in both dugouts. The game got off to a quick start but went downhill shortly after, and then a resurging comeback late completely altered the game. 

After his fantastic weekend in Manhattan, Tre Richardson carried the momentum over into the first inning of Thursday night’s game. He gave the Bears their first hit of the evening with a lined single into left field. Later in the inning, Kyle Nevin popped up a routine fly-ball into left field that was dropped by the Oklahoma State outfielder. Richardson came around to score on the E7 to give Baylor the 1-0 lead through the first inning.

Baylor Athletics
Jake Jackson struggled on the mound tonight

On the mound, Jake Jackson did not build off of last week’s stellar performance against Kansas State which earned him Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors. He allowed a two-run bomb to the Cowboys’ centerfielder, Caeden Trenkle, in the top of the second inning. 

Then the Pokes cleanup hitter, Griffin Doersching (who happens to be 6’4 250 lbs) added a two-run homer of his own in the third. Oklahoma State led 4-1 after the third inning.

The Cowboys' offense didn’t let up and they continued to add on more runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Oklahoma State had picked up a hit in each of Jake Jackson’s five innings. Jackson finished with 4.2 IP and allowed 9 R, 7 ER, 12 H, BB, and 7 Ks on 109 total pitches. 

Baylor Athletics
Jared McKenzie crushes a ball

Two of the first three Baylor runs tonight came courtesy of Jared McKenzie. After hitting a leadoff double in the fourth inning, a Nevin sacrifice fly brought McKenzie home. His second run of the night came on a towering solo homer over the right-center field wall in the sixth. Even after his home run, the Bears still trailed 9-3.

Going into Thursday’s game, OSU’s starter, Victor Mederos, had a 6.60 ERA and a b/avg of .280. Mederos ended the night with 6 IP and only gave up 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, and 3 Ks on 75 pitches. 

Baylor’s offense finally started to put some runs on the board once the Cowboys chose to go to their bullpen. The Bears put on three quick runs in the bottom of the seventh in an attempt to make a comeback. Still in the seventh inning, the bases were loaded for the scorching McKenzie, who launched a grand slam over the right-center field wall to bring the Bears within a run of the Pokes' lead, 11-10. 

The inning was extended even further after a pair of baserunners got aboard. In Harrison Caley’s second at-bat of the inning, he sent a game-tying RBI single up the middle to give the Bears their eighth run of the frame. It was an incredible comeback nonetheless and the game was tied 11-11 heading into the eighth.

To the liking of the entire Baylor dugout, Beau Wimpee led off the ninth with a single into centerfield. Antonio Valdez stood in the batter’s box with the sole goal of moving Wimpee to second for Harrison Caley. Harrison Caley had delivered two huge singles as a part of that eight-run seventh inning and was feeling good at the plate. Valdez was unable to lay down a bunt and faced an 0-2 count. He then took two balls to make it a 2-2 count.

In survival mode at the plate, Valdez crushed a ball that sailed, first on top of the wall, and then over the wall to the collective roar across the stadium. The Bears swarmed out of the dugout to greet an ecstatic Valdez at home plate, who had just sealed an epic comeback win and clinched a spot in the conference tournament with a walk-off home run.

With a win tonight, Baylor has officially clinched a spot in the Big 12 Tournament. The Bears will most likely be the eighth seed and will be playing the first overall seed, which is yet to be determined. The game will be at 12:30 P.M. on Wednesday afternoon and can be watched on ESPN+.

The win tonight was not completely necessary to clinch the last spot in the tournament because Kansas lost tonight in Austin. But quite frankly, it was incredible for this team to pick up a victory in that fashion. So many times this season, Baylor had been on the wrong end of comeback victories and it was great to see that not be the case tonight.

 

Final: Baylor 13 - Oklahoma State 11

W: Adam Muirhead (1-0) L: Hueston Morrill (1-2) 

POTG: Jared McKenzie 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI, BB


TOP QUOTES

Coach Rodriguez on tonight’s big win

“We have definitely been on the other side of these quite often. Just like I told our guys, they absolutely won that game. They came out in the sixth and seventh innings and continued to have good at-bats. We put the ball in play and hit the ball hard. Jared McKenzie comes up with a monster grand slam that put us within one. Then we are able to scratch and claw and keep guys getting on and getting the tying run up and then Harrison comes up with a big hit. Now it's a tie ball game and it's just a one-run ballgame and we're trying to get that winning run across. Muirhead and Voelker came in and did exactly what we wanted them to do. Really proud and happy that these guys continued their tenacity all throughout the game. It could have been easy to fold it up when it was 11-3 but they didn't, they just kept pounding”

Jared McKenzie on the eight-run seventh inning

“I think you look at the score and you can either sit there and give up. Or you know that it becomes an individual sport and at that point, are you going to take it personally? So come up there and grind at-bats. And everybody on our team did that and it goes to show through the lineup that it mattered to them. No matter what the score was, their at-bats mattered. When everybody’s at-bats matter and they start to click, you have good results.”

Antonio Valdez on if we knew he hit a walk-off homer

“I had no idea. I was just hoping somehow Beau could get to second base because that was my job going in, and that was all I was trying to do. I was really scared when I saw it hit the top of the wall and I saw him keep looking at it, I had no idea.”


WHAT’S NEXT

Baylor baseball (26-24, 7-15) continues its series against Oklahoma State (34-18, 13-9) tomorrow night at Baylor Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 P.M.

Discussion from...

Baylor Baseball Rallies Back from Eight-Run Deficit, Beats Oklahoma State, 13-11

1,191 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by MrGolfguy
MrGolfguy
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W
Well, I ain't no greenhorn!!
Jorkel
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I love that we were battling Kansas for a spot in the big 12 tourney…just so thrilling!
MrGolfguy
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Cool story but we're not; BU is 3 games ahead of Kansas with 2 games left.
Well, I ain't no greenhorn!!
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