LOS ANGELES – No. 2 Baylor baseball’s season came to an end with an 11-6 loss to the No. 1 overall seeded UCLA Bruins in the Los Angeles Regional Sunday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bears were unable to keep up with UCLA’s strong offensive output, as the Bruins hit four home runs and outmuscled Baylor just one day after the Bears set a program record with 24 runs in a postseason game.
Baylor (35-19) had runners on base in each of the last six innings, but bounced into double plays in each of the last three to squander any hopes of a comeback.
UCLA (49-9) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run homer off Baylor starter Tyler Thomas. But the Bears answered in the top of the second as Andy Thomas and Davis Wendzel hit back-to-back doubles before Cole Haring blasted a two-run shot to put Baylor ahead 3-2.
The Bruins knotted things at 3-3 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, but once again, the Bears responded and it was Haring again doing the damage, this time a solo homer to pull Baylor back in front 4-3.
The Bears fell behind in the bottom of the fourth as UCLA scored three runs to take the lead back 6-4, but climbed back with a run in the top of the fifth, as Chase Wehsener scored on a passed ball with Shea Langeliers at the plate, cutting the deficit to 6-5.
UCLA extended its lead in the bottom half with a pair of home runs, one a two-run shot and the other a solo, pushing the tally to 9-5. In the top of the sixth, Baylor scratched across a run with an RBI single by Wehsener to stay in it 9-6, but that was all the Bears would get.
Another Bruins’ two-run homer came in the bottom of the sixth to make it 11-6 and that proved to be the nail in the coffin, as Baylor couldn’t muster up a late-inning comeback to put the pressure on the nation’s No. 1 team.
The Bears’ season ends after another successful run to the postseason and the highest winning percentage in the Steve Rodriguez era.
By Rachel Caton