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BB: Winning Weekend in Waco

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Baseball Bears win series against #23 Duke.

@BaylorBaseball

What’s the best way to bounce back from an opening weekend let down? How about winning a series against a top-25 opponent. The Bears gave us two games showing what this team’s potential.

Game 1 was about Tyler Thomas, again, looking like a top-tier #1 starter. The lefty took a no-hitter into the 5th inning and worked a total of 6 innings scoreless. His scoreless inning streak is now at 11 (after a poor first inning of the season).

Anderson Needham came in to take over the 7th and struggled, but I expect him to be up and down a little bit as he is coming off arm surgery. The bright spot was Matt Voelker getting us out of a jam in the 7th and finishing the last two innings of the game to secure a huge game 1 win. Baylor’s offense took advantage of walks and errors, especially in the 6th inning, where Duke’s bullpen pitchers struggled. Still not the best game on offense, but in game 1 of a series, finding any way to win is great.

Game 2 saw much of the same as far as Baylor pitching went. Veteran transfer Jake Jackson went 7 very strong innings giving up no earned runs. If this is the Jake Jackson, we see for most of his starts, then we found a diamond in the rough to give us a lot of quality innings through the season. He throws strikes with all three pitches and is a great person to have in that number 2 starting spot behind Tyler Thomas. This game showed our offensive potential, with the Bears erupting for 12 runs on 9 hits. Taking advantage of some poor pitching by the Blue Devils. Pineda, Richardson, Cardoza-Oquendo, and McKenzie all had good games at the plate to give the pitching staff a lot of cushion.

Game 3 showed a promising start from Waco product Will Rigney go 4 innings and give up just 1 run. As we try to continue to find our 3rd starter for the weekend, this is a promising site to see. Good pitching from the Bears and Blue Devils was the story of this game, with both teams making no mistakes in the field. Voekler got the loss giving up 2 runs in 2.1 innings, and we again saw veteran Hambleton Oliver struggle to throw strikes. The bright spot was highly recruited Mason Marriott, who delivered 1.1 innings giving up no hits, no walks and striking out 2. Though he is a freshman, Marriott is going to have to deliver consistently for the Bears to win weekend games. It would have been nice to have back-to-back games with hot bats, but a series win against a ranked team is just what the Bears needed.

Bears take on Rice in Houston Wednesday before the visiting the best college tournament in Texas, the Shriner’s Hospital Classic. We will see three huge tests this weekend with the Bears facing #23 UCLA, #16 Tennessee, and #7 LSU. Sic’ Em.