The Bears capitalized on early errors by the Bulldogs and worked their way back to .500 on the young season. Even better, the game was actually on my TV! That's something you don't get much for mid-season college ball.
The Bears just put the finishing touches on a 4-2 victory over Louisiana Tech. It was a good game for the Bears and a bit of a gift in all honesty. Louisiana Tech was absolutely desperate to give Baylor a big first inning. Nathan Orf gave the Tech defense two easy pop-fouls in a row, but they managed to drop both of them, leading to an Orf single to left. That would have been bad enough for the Bulldogs, but the left-fielder decided to muff the single, scoring Logan Brown and leaving Orf on third. Yet another error in the frame left Baylor up three runs with only one out. That was some sloppy baseball. Like, Ole Miss sorority girls on spring break sloppy. Woof.
On the Bears side, it was a clean game, with sharp defense all the way around. Jake Miller and Brett Doe, who played second to give Langford a break, turned a really nice double play to get starter Sean Spicer out of trouble in the first, and Logan Brown showed his speed and range in center on a hard line drive to the gap in left. Like so many other times, the team that made fewer mistakes took the victory. With the bats, Orf was impressive (as a player hitting over .500 usually is), and Duncan Wendel was really locked in, going 1-2 with 2 BBs. Not to be outdone by Orf, Wendel is closing in on a .400 average himself.
On the pitching side, Spicer, Josh Michaelec, and Ryan Smith did the heavy lifting. As one of the announcers mentioned during the game, the one true weakness that the staff has shown thus far is the base-on-balls. The team gave up six of them in this game alone. Luckily, it didn't come back to haunt the Bears, and Smith pitched 2.2 innings with no walks, no hits, and 2 strikeouts to close the game. Smith might not have faired well in his opening day start, but he seems to be emerging as the Bears' best reliever. During the game, the announcers gave brief scouting reports on a few of the pitchers, and guess what? Every right-hander on the Baylor staff is pretty much the exact same! Spicer sits 86-90, and he is described as a "strike thrower". He didn't exactly show the strike-throwing tonight, but the umpire wasn't calling strikes at the knees, and I have to think that affected him. Ryan Smith was described as... 87-90! He also works with a sharp and rapidly improving slider.
As I said, it was a good quality win, which puts the Bears at 6-6 on the young season. It was even better, because it was on my television set. I also want to point out that FSSW did a really nice job with the coverage. Far too often with college or minor league baseball, the camera angles are horrific and the images poor. This was impeccable. Thank you Fox Sports. I wish more games were like that. Tomorrow, Sterling Wynn gets the start against the Bulldogs and I hope everyone near Waco will go out and support the team.