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Baylor Baseball

Walk-Off Weekly: Bears Win Series over Cincinnati, Beat Houston Christian

April 3, 2024

For the second time this season, head coach Mitch Thompson’s Bears (11-17, 5-7) finished the week with a 3-1 winning record. Over the weekend, Baylor took down the Cincinnati Bearcats in a three-game set.

In the series victory, the Bears got great outings on the mound from starters Mason Marriott (Jr.) and Collin McKinney (RFr.), and the batting order put up high-scoring numbers in Friday and Saturday’s wins.

On Tuesday, Baylor trailed Houston Christian 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh inning before a bases-clearing triple from Daniel Altman (Sr.) broke the game open for the Bears, and they walked away with a 13-5 victory.

Slugger of the Week – Hunter Teplanszky: (.500 AVG, 8-for-16, 4 R, 9 RBI, 3 2B, HR, 2 BB, 2 K)

After a rough patch in mid-March, third baseman Hunter Teplanszky (Jr.) appears to be looking more like his normal self at the dish. In his last four games, Teplanszky leads the team in runs batted in (9) and extra-base hits (4). He is currently sporting a 12-game on-base streak.

Teplansky’s batting average dropped to as low as .239 on March 15 against No. 24 Texas Tech, but he has raised that to .287 in recent weeks and currently has had eight multi-hit contests.

Heating Up – Enzo Apodaca: (.416 AVG, 5-for-12, 5 R, 4 RBI, 2B, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 3 K)

After a disappointing three-run performance in Thursday’s series-opening loss to Cincinnati, Thompson decided to switch the batting order up and moved Enzo Apodaca (RJr.) back into the leadoff spot.

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Since moving to the leadoff spot, RF Enzo Apodaca (RJr.) has reached base in nine of his 15 plate appearances.

Traditionally, Apodaca slots more as a lead-off bat, but with all the injuries, he’s been forced to hit in the three-hole for much of the season.

Since that move, Apodaca is 4-for-9 at the plate but has reached base in nine of his 15 plate appearances. The Gonzaga transfer has reached base at least four times in five games this year. The Bears are 7-5 when Apodaca is atop the lineup card and are 4-12 when he isn’t.

Cooling Off – Mason Greer: (.090 AVG, 1-for-11, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HBP, 4 K)

Right now, Baylor has very limited options to play first base. Will Pendergrass (RJr.) went down with what will likely be a season-ending injury during the Texas series, and since then, Mason Greer (Sr.) has struggled mightily to replace him.

Prior to Greer’s single on Tuesday against HCU, he was 0 for his last 18 at-bats. With shortstop Tyriq Kemp (Jr.) also hitting below the Mendoza line (.173) Thompson currently has two starters hitting below .200 on the season and desperately needs production from first base.

Whether the answer is Greer, who is hitting .188 with a .262 on-base percentage, or putting Brayden Buchanan (Fr.) at first remains to be seen.

Ace of the Week – Collin McKinney: (6.1 IP, H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 2 HBP, 22 BF, 93 pitches)

Right-handed pitcher Collin McKinney (RFr.) was masterful on the bump for the Bears in Saturday’s win. He had the best outing of his young collegiate career, retiring 14-straight batters and striking out a career-high 10 Bearcats. Cincinnati's lone run off McKinney in a season-long 6.1 frames was unearned.

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RHP Collin McKinney (RFr.) retired 14-straight batters and struck out a career-high 10 Bearcats in Saturday’s win.

He also struck out five straight Bearcats on Saturday, becoming the first Bear to fan five in a row since Logan Verrett against Texas A&M in 2009.

Heating Up – Stephen Sepulveda: (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, HBP, 7 SO, 9 BF, 41 pitches)

In Tuesday’s win over HCU, Stephen Sepulveda (Fr.) entered the ballgame and fanned the first six batters he faced. It was the first time since 2007 that a Baylor pitcher recorded at least six consecutive strikeouts.

Outside of a five-spot that Sepulveda surrendered to Texas, he’s been extremely solid in his freshman campaign. He has surrendered one earned run or less in eight of his 10 appearances on the mound.

Coming Up

Baylor baseball (11-17) will round out its eight-game homestand with a three-game set this weekend against Incarnate Word (15-12). Next Tuesday, the Bears will travel to take on No. 8 Dallas Baptist (24-4) at 6:30 p.m. at Horner Ballpark.

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Walk-Off Weekly: Bears Win Series over Cincinnati, Beat Houston Christian

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