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Walk-Off Weekly: Bears Win Series over No. 24 Texas Tech, Crushed by Sam Houston

March 20, 2024

For the first time in the Mitch Thompson Era, Baylor won a series against a ranked opponent. Last weekend, the Bears took two of three from the No. 24 Red Raiders and held the high-powered TTU offense to just five total runs in three games. 

Baylor got excellent performances on the mound from starters Mason Marriott (Jr.), Collin McKinney (RFr.) and Mason Green (Fr.). And out of the bullpen, Ethan Calder (So.), Patrick Hail (RJr.), Drew Leach (RJr.), RJ Ruais (Fr.), Stephen Sepulveda (Fr.) and Kobe Anrade (Sr.) were all nails.

In the lineup, sluggers Wesley Jordan (Jr.) and Mason Greer (Sr.) had good weekends at the plate, while center fielder Ty Johnson (Jr.) continued to adjust nicely to the Power Five level.

In a midweek matchup against Sam Houston on Tuesday, the potent Bearkats offense jumped out to a quick three-run lead in the first inning and then never looked back after hanging a 12-spot in the third. In the defeat, Baylor was outhit, 17-to-6.

Slugger of the Week – Ty Johnson: (.375 AVG, 6-for-16, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K)

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Center fielder Ty Johnson (Jr.) has appeared to be more comfortable at the plate in recent weeks.

MCC transfer center fielder Ty Johnson (Jr.) had his best four-game stretch in a Baylor uniform over the past week. In the series against the Red Raiders, Johnson scored four runs and picked up six base knocks atop the Bears’ batting order.

After an up-and-down first month of the season, Johnson appears to have adjusted and gotten comfortable playing at the Power Five level. 

The most notable difference in Johnson’s game to me has been his recent ability to force competitive at-bats. In the series against Houston, Johnson saw 41 total pitches across 13 plate appearances. Against No. 24 Texas Tech, he saw 57 pitches across 13 plate appearances.

Heating Up – Wesley Jordan: (.357 AVG, 5-for-14, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR, 2B, 2 BB, 5 K)

After a slow first month of the season, designated hitter Wesley Jordan (Jr.) seems to have turned a corner at the plate. In his last four games, his power has been on full display, routinely crushing baseballs, most notably a 476-foot nuke on Saturday against the Red Raiders.

When asked if he’s been more comfortable at the plate in recent games, Jordan said, “Definitely. I was pushing myself a little bit at the start and just had to settle in and play how I play.”

With the injuries to outfielders Hunter Simmons (Sr.) and Gavin Brzozowski (RSo.), Jordan will likely start at designated hitter for the rest of the year. Thompson is excited about the growth he has seen from the Navarro transfer.

“There’s still some more to do,” Thompson said. “There’s still too many strikeouts, but he’s hitting a lot of balls really hard. And when he hits them, he hits them really hard. You guys saw some of the power we talked about. He’s starting to get hits and putting it together, and that’s why we’re going to continue and try to ride him. But we need to keep making progress.”


Cooling Off – Hunter Teplanszky: (.285 AVG, 4-for-14, RBI, 2 BB, 4 K)

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Third baseman Hunter Teplanszky (Jr.) has had an up-and-down start to the season and leads Baylor in strikeouts (30).

Heading into the spring, Hunter Teplanszky (Jr.) was Baylor’s best-returning player on paper. In his sophomore campaign, Teplanszky was second on the team in virtually every offensive category behind Freshman All-American shortstop Kolby Branch.

The first month of this season has been an adventure for the Bears’ stud third baseman, however. Against No. 23 Indiana and Oral Roberts, Teplanszky combined to go 11-for-25 at the plate and batted in six runs. In midweek matchups versus Abilene Christian and No. 20 Dallas Baptist, he went 0-for-10 with eight strikeouts.

After a 1-for-12 showing to open conference play against Houston in early March, Teplanszky showed some life with a nice weekend against No. 24 Texas Tech, going 3-for-10 with a clutch RBI single in the series finale.

Whether Teplanszky returns to form will ultimately depend on his ability to reduce swings and misses; he currently leads the team in strikeouts with 30 and has forced just seven walks.

Ace of the Week – Mason Green: (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 3 SO, 22 BF, 66 pitches)

In just his second collegiate start, lefty Mason Green (Fr.) was phenomenal on Sunday against the Red Raiders. He earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and notched his first career win while tossing six shutout frames. 

Had it not been for an hour-and-a-half rain delay, Green very well might have thrown a complete-game shutout. Fourteen of his 18 outs were in four or fewer pitches, and he never faced more than four batters in an inning.

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Left-handed pitcher Mason Green (Fr.) earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after tossing six shutout frames against the Red Raiders on Sunday.

“[Mason Green] was fantastic. He got them to take a bunch of swings that they didn’t really want to take, and he got a bunch of outs on them,” Thompson said after Sunday’s win. “To be six innings into the game and have a pitch count in the sixties, that’s pretty good. He’s the kind of guy that can go finish one for you. It’s not very often you see complete games in college baseball anymore, but he’s got a shot. Down the road, we may see one of those from him.”

Heating Up – Collin McKinney: (3.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 14 BF, 57 pitches)

Similar to Green, Collin McKinney’s (RFr.) outing on Saturday was cut short due to inclement weather. In just over three frames, McKinney was dealing, striking out five and allowing just one hit. While McKinney has looked extremely promising so far this season, he has struggled to stay ahead of batters in counts at times, but that wasn’t an issue against the Red Raiders.

At the conclusion of the series, Thompson noted, “I thought [that was the best McKinney has looked this season.] Collin was good against Oregon. It’s not like he’s had a bad outing [so far], but there’s been some that have been better. I think Oregon and [Texas Tech] were really good. He looked like he was out there on a mission, and he was out there to really compete and let it loose.”

Cooling Off – Jackson Elizondo: (1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, SO, 7 BF, 20 pitches)

Entering the season, lefty Jackson Elizondo (Fr.) was one of the younger arms Baylor was expected to lean heavily on this spring. After a couple of rough outings to start his college career, Elizondo hadn’t seen much time on the mound until last Tuesday, when he threw a scoreless frame against Stephen F. Austin.

Thompson called his name out of the bullpen again on Tuesday, but after just an inning of work, the freshman lefty threw his glove down in frustration and walked off the field emotional after suffering what appeared to be a left arm injury. If Elizondo is out for an extended period of time, that would mean almost a quarter of Baylor’s roster is either out for the season or currently unavailable due to injury.

Coming Up

Baylor baseball (7-13, 2-4) will hit the road for one final series with the Texas Longhorns (12-8, 2-1) as conference foes at UFCU Disch-Falk Field this weekend. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s contest will start at 2:30 p.m., and the series finale on Sunday is slated for 1 p.m. The Bears will then return home to open an eight-game homestand against UTSA (10-11) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.

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Walk-Off Weekly: Bears Win Series over No. 24 Texas Tech, Crushed by Sam Houston

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