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Baylor Baseball

Baylor Sweeps BYU, Takes Care of Cougars in High-Scoring Affair on Saturday, 18-17

April 13, 2024
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PROVO, Utah – Baylor baseball (16-18, 8-7) completed its sweep of BYU (14-18, 6-12) with a narrow 18-17 defeat of the Cougars in a high-scoring affair on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.

The series sweep marked the first time the Bears have swept a Big 12 opponent since 2019, and it was the first time since the 2020 Shriners Classic that the green and gold have won three straight contests away from Baylor Ballpark.

In the offensive explosion, the Bears collected their season-high in hits (21) and runs (18). Each Baylor starter reached base in the win. Right fielder Enzo Apodaca (RJr.), left fielder Wesley Jordan (Jr.) and shortstop Tyriq Kemp (Jr.) each hit homers in the contest and combined to go 11-for-14 at the plate with nine RBIs.

Four other Bears had multi-hit performances – center fielder Ty Johnson (Jr.), first baseman Cole Posey (Sr.), designated hitter Zach Mazoch (So.) and third baseman Hunter Teplanszky (Jr.).

“We swung the heck out of it,” head coach Mitch Thompson said postgame. “It was a lot of fun, and it was relentless. It was well-hit ball after well-hit ball after well-hit ball, and it was up and down the lineup. The only thing I'd say is when you go up to 18-5, and now we're all trying to get to the seven-inning run-rule – we can’t stop.”

Baylor Athletics
The Bears collected their season-high in hits (21) and runs (18) in Saturday’s win.

Baylor led 18-5 entering the bottom of the sixth inning before the Cougars made things extremely interesting late with 12 straight unanswered runs off Stephen Sepulveda (Fr.), Andrew Petrowski (RJr.) and Kobe Andrade (Sr.) to cut the Bears lead to 18-17 entering the ninth.

Andrade went back out for the ninth with a spotless final frame to send the Bears back to Waco with their fifth-straight Big 12 victory and eighth win in their last nine games.

“[Andrade] was huge,” Thompson said.  “We're asking a lot of him, and the one thing that we did know is that Kobe is going to be a competitor. He's going to take the ball, he's going to compete. And he did exactly that. It didn't all go his way; he gave up the three runs in the eighth, but he didn't give up anything in the ninth, and that's the big one.”

“Definitely jacked up [after that game],” Posey said. The offense came out and took care of business, but I never felt like we lost our heads or our cool. Once they started to come back, you could definitely feel the momentum swing, but we got enough outs – we got the final out – and we scored just enough runs.”

The Bears jumped out to an early lead when Jordan crushed a three-run round-tripper to straightaway centerfield in the first. It was the Navarro transfer’s team-leading sixth home run of the season.

In the second, Posey blooped a double into shallow right field, and Kemp followed with a 419-foot shot over the right field wall for his first home run of the season. In the series, Kemp recorded three base knocks and reached base in 10 of his 14 plate appearances.

Later in the frame, Jordan plated his fourth run of the contest with a line drive into left-center field, scoring catcher Cortlan Castle (Jr.) from third base. Jordan has now reached base in a team-high 26 straight games.

Baylor Athletics
The series sweep marked the first time the Bears have swept a Big 12 opponent since 2019.

After back-to-back dominant outings, right-handed pitcher Collin McKinney (RFr.) struggled to throw strikes consistently in his ninth start of the season. 

In the third, McKinney loaded the bases after issuing three free passes and surrendered a bases-clearing triple off the center field wall to BYU’s first baseman, Cooper Vest (Jr.). Johnson appeared to have a beat on the ball in center field but mistimed his jump on the attempted catch.

The following at-bat, designated hitter Kuhio Aloy (Fr.) lined an RBI double down the left field line to close the gap on Baylor’s lead to 6-4. McKinney’s afternoon was finished after three frames; he walked six, fanned five and allowed four earned runs on just two hits.

The Bears batting order took back control of the game with a nine-spot in the fourth – a season-high for runs in a frame. Seven different Baylor hitters collected an RBI knock in the inning, highlighted by doubles from Posey, Kemp, Johnson and Jordan.

Kemp went 3-for-6 at the plate in Saturday’s win with four RBIs – both of which are career highs for The Netherlands native.

In the fifth, Apodaca smoked a two-run homer over the right-center field wall for his fourth long ball of the season. Apodaca finished the series, scoring six runs and going 9-for-15 at the dish. He currently holds a team-high 13-game hitting streak and picked up a career-high five hits on Saturday.

Out of the bullpen for Baylor, lefty RJ Ruais (Fr.) struck out three and allowed one run across two innings. Things got interesting late when the Cougars hung a six-spot in the sixth off Sepulveda and Petrowski to cut the Bears' lead to 18-11. In the seventh, BYU added three more runs off Petrowski.

“That's where you get gray hairs as a coach, and you're just hoping that your guys can go out there and handle it,” Thompson said. “Momentum is a funny thing in this game, and at a place where the ball travels like this, it's never over.”


 

Final: Baylor 18, BYU 17

W: RJ Ruais (2-0) L: Hayden Coon (1-2)

POTG: Wesley Jordan (3-for-3, HR, 2B, 3 R, 5 RBI, BB)


WHAT’S NEXT

Baylor baseball (16-18) will return to Texas but will travel to the metroplex on Tuesday night to take on UT Arlington (14-20) at 6 p.m. at Clay Gould Park.

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Baylor Sweeps BYU, Takes Care of Cougars in High-Scoring Affair on Saturday, 18-17

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