Maryland staves off Baylor rally, prevails 9-5

Utah win 20-13 Baylor

WACO, Texas — Baylor baseball (0-2) fell at the hands of Maryland (2-0) 9-5 on Saturday at Baylor Ballpark, despite a late comeback effort that came up short.

The first four batters in the ninth inning reached for the Bears as the UMD lead was trimmed to four, but BU couldn’t muster enough to top the Terrapins.

For the second-straight day, UMD jumped out to an early lead with a four-spot in the top of the first. The Terps added another from a solo home run in the top of the third before Baylor got on the board for the first time this season. It was freshman catcher Cortlan Castle’s two-RBI single that put the first dent in the UMD lead, making it 5-2 through the first five innings.

However, three more runs came across for Maryland in the sixth inning. BU got one back in the bottom of the eighth from a Chase Wehsener run-scoring knock, but UMD answered with a run of its own in the top of the ninth.

That’s when Baylor found some energy, thanks to a leadoff single from Castle and a base hit from Tre Richardson that followed a walk to Jack PinedaJared McKenzie picked up an RBI from a bases-loaded walk and Kyle Nevin scored a run with a groundout, but that would be all as the late threat was snuffed out.

Junior lefty Ryan Ramsey picked up his first win of the year for the Terrapins, while junior RHP Blake Helton was tabbed with the loss for BU.

• Baylor falls to 0-2 all-time against Maryland.
• This is the first time in the Coach Rod era that the Bears have lost the first two games of the season.
• Five Bears made their Baylor debut: Kobe AndradeCortlan CastleHenry ConeMason Marriott and Matt Voelker.
• Four Bears picked up multi-hit games in Nicolas Balsano, Castle, Kyle Nevin and Chase Wehsener.
• Castle led the Bears with two RBIs in his collegiate debut.
• The freshman catcher also picked off two runners at first base.
• Balsano collected his first-career hit as part of his two-hit day.
• Andrade made his first-career plate appearance and reached on a walk.
• Jack Pineda extended his hit streak to five games, dating back to last season.

2 – Cortlan Castle had two hits, two RBIs and two pick-offs.

Head coach Steve Rodriguez
On tonight’s game…
“It’s not going to get easier for us. I’m glad we’re getting challenged like this. It’s great for us to be able to come out and have to compete and make adjustments. These are things that are going to grow you as a person and as a player. Some of the frustrations that you face early are absolutely irrelevant when it comes later, but they can really help you if you’re doing the right things and learning from them. That’s what we’re hoping for, is that they’re learning from some of their mistakes and they’re learning from their experience. That way, when we get later on in the season, some of these things aren’t foreign to them and they can walk right through it.”

Freshman C Cortlan Castle
On making his first-career start…
“It was really exciting. I had my parents here and some other family here, so it was really cool to see my name on the lineup card. I had the jitters for a little bit, just because it was a big game and there was a lot of people in the stands. But, the older guys have really helped prepare me for this moment. I really felt like I settled down, was able to relax and just have a lot of fun out there.”

Sophomore OF Kyle Nevin
On his fourth-inning home run robbery…
“I got a good beat on the ball and I saw it out of the air. The wind was taking it out a little more than I thought it was going to, but I timed it right and was still able to make a play for my pitcher. I had one maybe come close last year, but this one will be a memory for sure.”

Baylor will look to salvage the series against Maryland in Sunday’s finale, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. CT at Baylor Ballpark.

Cross-posted from Baylor Bears Athletics Communications