HOUSTON — The Bears completed the weekend sweep at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic with a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Arkansas on Sunday evening at Minute Maid Park, winning the tournament crown.
The Bears (8-3) put up solo runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Razorbacks (7-3) put up a fight with two runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth to pull within one, but reliever Daniel Caruso entered and got the strikeout to end the inning and Luke Boyd followed to shut the door on his third save of the weekend.
At the plate, Davion Downey drove in two of the Bears' three runs, including connecting on his first home run of the year. A Nick Loftin double brought in the third run of the day for the Bears.
The Bears had the go-ahead run at second with less than two outs in the second, third and fourth innings and finally were able to break through in the fourth. After a one-out walk by Mack Mueller, he took second on a wild pitch, allowing a Downey single to bring him home to put the Bears on the board first, 1-0.
The Bears added a second run on in the fifth inning, as Loftin doubled home Ricky Martinez from first base to make it 2-0 Bears.
Downey extended the Bears' lead further to 3-0 when he launched a mammoth shot to right center in the top of the sixth inning off Hogs' reliever Elijah Trest. The solo shot was his first homer of the year.
In the sixth inning BU starter Hayden Kettler gave way to reliever Jimmy Winston. Kettler had his most effective start of the year, tossing five scoreless innings, scattering four hits, walking one and striking out a season-high five.
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The Hogs made things interesting in the eighth, plating two runs in the eighth, but Caruso entered to shut the door on the inning as he struck out the only batter he faced on the day.
Boyd then entered and struck out two while closing the door on his third save of the weekend.
Kettler earned the win for the Bears, improving to 2-1 on the year, while Hogs' starter Kole Ramage took the loss to fall to 1-1. Boyd's save was his fifth of the year.
- With a 3-0 weekend, the Bears won the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic title.6
- For the first time under head coach Steve Rodriguez and first time since 2005, the Bears swept the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic.
- The Bears are now 19-17 all-time in the Shriner's Hospitals for Children College Classic.
- The Bears are 6-3 in the tournament under fifth-year head coach Steve Rodriguez (three trips).
- The Bears are now 39-38 all-time against Arkansas.
- The win is the first for the Bears against the Razorbacks since game one of the 2012 Super Regional and snapped a two-game losing streak to the Hogs.
- The Bears are now 18-26 against ranked teams under head coach Steve Rodriguez.
- JR OF/DH Davion Downey connected on his first home run of the year, ninth of his career.
- JR OF/DH Davion Downey's 2-hit performance is a season high.
- JR OF/DH Davion Downey drove home a season-high 2 runs on the day.
- JR INF Nick Loftin went 1-for-4 with 1 RBI on a double.
- FR OF Kyle Nevin went 1-for-4 on the day.
- FR OF Jared McKenzie saw his 10-game hit streak snapped in the win.
- SR OF Mack Mueller was 1-for-3 on the day with 1 walk.
- SR RHP Hayden Kettler tossed 5.0 innings, allowing no runs on four hits with one walk and a season-high five strikeouts.
- SR RHP Jimmy Winston made his third appearance of the year and second out of the bullpen. Tossed a season-high 2.2 innings, allowed 2 runs on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts (tying a season high).
- RS JR RHP Daniel Caruso made his fifth appearance of the year and got a strikeout to end the eighth.
- SR RHP Luke Boyd with his 5thsave of the year and 4thalone this week.
- SR RHP Luke Boyd tallied 2 strikeouts on the day.
- Baylor pitchers struck out double digits in all three games on the weekend and their 12 Ks of Hogs on Sunday evening tie for the second most in a game this season (most is 14 vs. Oral Roberts on Feb. 21).
QUOTE OF THE DAY FROM HEAD COACH STEVE RODRIGUEZ
On the team's performance — "I am just really proud of the way our team performed this weekend. Coming into the season we knew we had the pieces, but with the injuries we had in the fall it was just how will all those pieces fit together. We are starting to see how they fit together. We will continue to play the right way and go about our business the right way."
The Bears will return home to the friendly confines of Baylor Ballpark for a midweek tilt with Texas State. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, March 3.