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Baylor Baseball

Walk-Off Weekly: Bears Win Four Straight, Sweep BYU, Defeat UTA

April 17, 2024

Baylor (17-18, 8-7) has won nine of its last 10 games and is coming off three consecutive series wins, including a road sweep of the BYU Cougars in Provo – marking the first time the Bears have swept a conference opponent since 2019. BU’s RPI is up to No. 112 – the highest mark of the Mitch Thompson Era.

The weekend series against BYU featured it all. In the opener, the Bears walked away with a 9-2 victory after another solid outing from starting pitcher Mason Marriott (Sr.). On Friday, Baylor trailed 4-2 entering the ninth inning and walked away with an 8-5 extra-innings victory. In the series finale, Thompson’s squad fended off 12 straight unanswered runs from the Cougars to survive an 18-17 high-scoring affair to complete the sweep.

On Tuesday, six different BU pitchers combined for eight strikeouts and surrendered just one run while not issuing a single walk for the first time this season in the 3-1 victory over UTA.

Slugger of the Week – Enzo Apodaca: (.500 AVG, 10-for-20, 6 R, 5 RBI, HR, 2 BB, 2 K)

Since right fielder Enzo Apodaca (RJr.) was moved into the lead-off spot against Cincinnati on March 29, the Gonzaga transfer has been a spark plug atop the batting order.

He’s 18-for-43 at the dish and is boasting an on-base percentage north of .500 during that stretch. He currently holds a team-high 14-game hitting streak and picked up a career-high five hits in Saturday’s high-scoring 18-17 win over BYU, which was enough to earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors.

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
After a slow start to the year, SS Tyriq Kemp (Jr.) is 13-for-18 at the plate in his last four contests.

Heating Up – Tyriq Kemp: (.642 AVG, 9-for-14, 5 R, 7 RBI, 2 2B, HR, 3 BB, 3 K)

Shortstop Tyriq Kemp (Jr.) is also starting to turn a corner offensively. In the BYU series, Kemp recorded six base knocks and reached base in 10 of his 14 plate appearances. He went 3-for-6 at the plate in Saturday’s win with two extra-base hits and four RBIs – all of which are career highs for The Netherlands native. Against UTA, he led the Bears' batting order, going 3-for-4 with a double.

He’s now hitting .235 on the season and reached above the Mendzone line for the first time in over a month. Kemp is also sixth on the Bears in on-base percentage (.369) and has drawn the most walks (20) of anyone on the team.

Cooling Off – Hunter Teplanszky: (.125 AVG, 2-for-16, R, RBI, 4 BB, 5 K)

In a six-game stretch between March 29 and April 7, third baseman Hunter Teplanszky (Jr.) had five multi-hit contests and collected a team-high 12 RBIs in that span. Since then, Teplanszky has cooled off considerably picking up just two base knocks in his last four games.

You can tell Teplanszky is seeing the ball well when he’s limiting strikeouts, which hasn’t been the case this past week (5). In the aforementioned hot streak in late March and early April, the junior third baseman struck out just one time across his previous 21 at-bats.

Ace of the Week – Ethan Calder: (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO, 2 HBP, 17 BF, 60 pitches)

Entering this spring, I anticipated lefty Ethan Calder (So.) to take a step forward on the mound. He had pitched relatively well as a freshman last season in some tough moments, but I didn’t foresee him being absolutely lights out this year.

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Twelve of LHP Ethan Calder's (So.) last 13 outings have been scoreless.

Calder leads the team in ERA (1.76), WHIP (0.88) and innings pitched (30.2) out of the bullpen – 12 of his last 13 outings have been scoreless. At this rate, he’s making a case for an all-conference team.

After tossing three scoreless frames in Thursday’s win, Calder’s name was called upon in the tenth inning on Friday night to get the final out. He swiftly struck out BYU’s power hitter, Kuhio Aloy (Fr.), on four pitches to earn the save and give the Bears a series victory. Calder also made a surprising appearance on the mound against UTA and picked up four strikeouts in 1.2 innings pitched.

Heating Up – Kobe Andrade: (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 7 SO, 24 BF, 62 pitches)

Quietly, veteran southpaw Kobe Andrade (Sr.) has put together a really nice season for Baylor and has been Thompson’s second-best relief arm. After becoming a full-time pitcher this spring, Andrade is second on the Bears in ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.09); he has tossed a scoreless outing in seven of his last eight appearances.

Trailing 4-2 in Friday’s contest, Andrade threw two scoreless frames in the middle innings to give the Bears the opportunity for a comeback win. On Saturday, BYU cut Baylor’s lead to 18-17 after three runs off Andrade in the eighth snapping his 11.2-inning scoreless streak. In the ninth, Thompson sent Andrade back out to get the final outs, and he delivered a one, two, three frame to send the Bears back to Waco with a sweep.

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
LHP Kobe Andrade (Sr.) is second on the Bears in ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.09); he has tossed a scoreless outing in seven of his last eight appearances.

“[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.”

In a tight 3-1 ballgame on Tuesday against UTA, Thompson called upon Andrade’s name again to close out the contest, which he promptly provided a scoreless ninth and earned his second save of the season.

Cooling Off – Andrew Petrowski: (1.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, HBP, 0 SO, 11 BF, 31 pitches)

Before being lost for the season with an injury, right-handed pitcher Andrew Petrowski (RJr.) appeared to be Baylor’s most dominant reliever in limited action last spring.

After returning this season, Petrowski hasn’t been as consistent on the mound post-injury. On Saturday against the Cougars, the veteran righty surrendered six hits and five earned runs in just over an inning of work.

Coming Up

Baylor baseball (17-18, 8-7) will return to Waco for a three-game conference set against the Kansas Jayhawks (19-14, 7-8). First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s contest will start at 2 p.m., and the series finale on Sunday is slated for 1 p.m. All three games will be streamed on ESPN+.

Discussion from...

Walk-Off Weekly: Bears Win Four Straight, Sweep BYU, Defeat UTA

1,638 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by LIB,MR BEARS
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Was at last night's game and it was fun to watch. Our pitching was solid, and although hitting wasn't strong last night, based on last weekend we know they've got it. I feel we are pretty even with Kansas and this weekend will be telling. Coming down to watch all three and hoping for cooperative weather!
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They are certainly turning the corner
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