By Rachel Caton
WACO, Texas – Behind a six-run fifth inning, the No. 18 Bears defeated Sam Houston State 9-6 Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark for their third win in a row.
Baylor (25-10) tallied 15 hits in the victory, with five starters recording at least two hits. Four Bears drove in at least two runs, and eight of Baylor’s nine runs came across on an extra-base hit.
The Bearkats (22-12) got on the board first, scoring one run in the top of the first inning off BU starter Jacob Ashkinos. But the Bears answered quickly, plating runs in both the first and second innings to take a 2-1 lead.
From there, Ashkinos cruised through four innings, tying a career high for innings pitched. He allowed just the one run on six hits and struck out a pair.
In the fifth, Baylor put up a six-spot as Davis Wendzel crushed his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot, and Cole Haring knocked in Shea Langeliers with an RBI single to put the Bears ahead 5-1. Then, after Josh Bissonette walked, Mack Mueller collected his second RBI double of the night and Chase Wehsener followed with a two-run double of his own to make it 8-1.
SHSU got one back in the top of the sixth, but were held in check by reliever Hayden Kettler who worked out of trouble. Kettler gave the Bears two innings out of the bullpen, allowing one run on four hits and striking out two batters.
After Haring cashed in with another RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, Baylor saw its lead get trimmed to 9-5 due to a couple of solo homers and an RBI double by the Bearkats. Freshman reliever Brooks Helmer was able to minimize the damage before handing the ball to Logan Freeman, who pitched two innings and allowed one run while striking out five to finish off the victory.