|WEST VIRGINIA (33-22)
Baylor baseball opened its Big 12 Tournament this morning and let's just say that things did not quite go as planned as the West Virginia Mountaineers drubbed Baylor by a score of 11-1 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. The game finished in the bottom of the 8th when WVU scored 2 runs to invoke the 10 run rule.
After the Bears failed to score in the top of the 1st, West Virginia jumped all over Baylor starter Nick Lewis in the bottom half, piling up 7 runs in the opening frame to put the game out of reach early. The Mountaineers sent 11 men to the plate in the 1st and had 6 consecutive hitters reach base after there were 2 outs. The crushing blow was a 2 out 3 run triple by leadoff man Kyle Gray that took a 4-0 game and stretched it to 7-0.
From there, WVU starter Isaiah Kearns went to work, holding the previously red hot Baylor offense to just 3 hits through a career high 8 innings and taking any wind of a comeback out of the Bears' sails. Kearns did a nice job of throwing strikes with his fastball and letting his defense make plays behind him. Since the 9th inning was not played due to the run rule, Kearns gets credit for his first career complete game.
The Mountaineers would tack on single runs in the 3rd and 4th to make it 9-0, but Alex Phillips otherwise recorded 3 1/3 key innings for Baylor to save some of the bullpen workload. This could be key if the Bears are able to make a run in the loser's bracket beginning with tomorrow's game.
Baylor's lone run came in the 7th inning, as a leadoff double by Richard Cunningham came around to score on an RBI groundout by Kameron Esthay. Cunningham was the only Baylor runner to get as far as second base in the game. The other highlight of the day was the defense of freshman catcher Shea Langeliers, who threw out 3 potential West Virginia base stealers early in the ballgame.
Baylor will now need to win 4 consecutive games over the next 3 days to avoid elimination and advance to Sunday's championship game. Recently named Big 12 newcomer of the year Montana Parsons is expected to be on the mound for the Bears against the loser of this afternoon's game between Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Once again, first pitch is scheduled for 9:00 AM if you didn't get enough of the morning baseball thing today.
UPDATE: Oklahoma State beat Texas Tech 3-0 this afternoon, so Baylor will face Texas Tech in an elimination game at 9:00 Thursday morning.