WACO, Texas – The Bears dropped the season opener to visiting Nebraska, 19-9, on Friday evening at Baylor Ballpark.
The Bears (0-1) tallied 9 runs on 13 hits, and outscored the Huskers (1-0) after the first inning, 9-8, but were unable to overcome an 11-run top of the first inning.
The Bears were led at the plate by Nick Loftin, who was 3-for-5 on the day with 2 RBI, followed by a two-hit performance for Chase Whesener and Ricky Martinez. Wehsener also launched the first home run of the year for the Bears.
The top of the first saw the Huskers score those 11 runs on 7 hits, taking advantage of three uncharacteristic Baylor errors and a wild pitch. Starter Jimmy Winston gave up nine runs, five of those earned on five hits and two walks in an uncharacteristic start for the ace. Reliever Jacob Ashkinos came in and mopped things up, but gave up three runs, only one of those earned on four hits over 4.0 innings of work.
The Bears got on the board in the bottom of the second inning as Davion Downey brought home the first run of the day on a groundout and Mack Mueller delivered the first extra base hit of the day, a run-scoring double. They continued to cut into the lead with an RBI double from Nick Loftin in the third inning.
The Bears also scored individual runs in the fifth and sixth, with the solo run in the sixth coming on a home run for Whesener. The sophomore took the first pitch he saw of the inning and deposited it over the left field wall for the first long ball of the year for the Bears.
Reliever Anderson Needham looked good for the Bears in two innings of the work and was followed by freshman Oliver Hambleton, sophomore Blake Helton and senior Logan Freeman, who each worked an inning apiece.
The Bears worked to cut into the lead, but a four-run seventh and three-run eighth took the game out of hand. The Bears answered the three runs in the eight with four of their own to make it a 19-9 ballgame.
Baylor starter Jimmy Winston took the loss, while Husker starter Gareth Stroh improved to 1-0 on the year.
STAT OF THE DAY
13 – The Bears tallied 13 hits on the day, just three less than Nebraska’s 16 hits.
The Bears return to action on Saturday, Feb. 15 for game two of the series vs. Nebraska. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT at Baylor Ballpark and will be streamed live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.