Baylor keeps grinding with 11-6 win
Ludy goes 4-for-4 with home run, double, three runs and two RBI
WACO, Texas – Baylor scored seven runs in the final four innings to erase a 5-4 deficit and win a Waco Regional elimination game against UT Arlington 11-6 on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
Josh Ludy went 4-for-4 with a walk, home run, double, three runs and two RBI, and Max Garner picked up the Baylor (45-15) bullpen by allowing only one run in 3.0 innings of relief to pick up the win.
“Typical NCAA elimination game,” head coach Steve Smith said. “Both teams played hard, competed every pitch, fans were in it and we competed every play. It was a great atmosphere to play. Our crowd, I think, made a huge difference in our guys. It was just grind it out, one pitch at a time baseball, where both sides just really didn’t want to quit.”
The Bears jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but UT Arlington (36-25) answered with five runs to take a 5-4 lead after five innings. Lawton Langford doubled leading off the sixth, and Adam Toth’s one-out RBI single tied the game.
Garner (3-2) came on in relief to start the bottom half of the sixth and worked the first 1-2-3 inning by either team in the game. The Bears went back to work in their next at-bat, taking the lead for good with a pair of runs. Cal Towey drew a bases-loaded walk, and Jake Miller delivered a two-out RBI single to put the Bears in front 7-5.
Miller went 2-for-3 with two sacrifice bunts, one RBI and one run scored, and Dan Evatt and Toth each added two hits and two RBI as part of Baylor’s 14-hit day.
BU starting pitcher Trent Blank did not factor in the decision after allowing four runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. Reliever Brad Kuntz allowed one run in 1.1 innings before turning the ball over to Garner, and Crayton Bare came on to retire all three batters he faced with the bases loaded in the ninth.
The Bears got on the board in the first when Nathan Orf was hit by a pitch, and one out later Ludy knocked a two-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole. It was Ludy’s sixth home run in the last six games, and he moved into a tie for 10th on Baylor’s single-season home runs list with 15 on the year. Ludy also moved into a tie for seventh on Baylor’s single-season RBI list with 67.
Ludy keyed the Bears’ go-ahead seventh inning by delivering a one-out double down the left-field line. Max Muncy drew a walk, and Evatt loaded the bases with a single to set up Towey’s go-ahead walk. Towey also had a two-out RBI single in the first inning.
Baylor broke the game open with three runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth. Logan Vick delivered his 24th double of the year in the eighth, and Ludy was intentionally walked in front of Muncy, who made the Mavericks pay with a RBI double off the wall in right field. Evatt followed with a two-run single, and Miller gave the Bears an insurance run when he scored on a wild pitch in the ninth.
Garner allowed a walk and double, and then hit a batter to load the bases with no outs in the ninth. Bare came on and induced a run-scoring grounder before striking out the final two batters to end the game.
UTA reliever Adam Boydston (2-4) took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Preston Beck and Jordan Vaughn had two hits apiece to lead the Mavericks at the plate.