WACO, Texas – After a long trip and weekend in San Diego, Baylor baseball returned to the friendly confines of Baylor Ballpark and won a 3-2 game over Lamar Wednesday evening. The victory for BU (6-6) snapped a four-game losing streak, three-game skid to the Cardinals (8-5) and extended the Bears' home winning streak to five.
Both starters were sharp to start the game as BU's Ryan Smith threw five innings, allowing two hits, an unearned run and walk with three strikeouts in a no-decision. LU's David Carver threw two hitless frames before being removed in favor of Jayson McKinley.
After spoiling a chance to tie or go ahead in the sixth, Baylor got to McKinley in the seventh as he had a hard time finding the strike zone. Grayson Porter started a three-run rally with a single and was lifted for pinch-runner Adam Toth, who promptly stole second. Following a walk by Matt Menard, Brett Doe knotted the game, 1-1, with a single to right field. Ben Carl walked on the next play to force LU to bring in Brandon Kirkham, but he walked Logan Brown to force in the go-ahead run. Kirkham then walked Lawton Langford as well to force in another run and give the Bears a 3-1 lead.
With a scoreless frame under his belt already, BU reliever Nick Lewis took the mound again in the eighth but hit a batter and gave up a single that featured an error to put both runners in scoring position. BU closer Josh Michalec entered the game and was able to get out of the jam while allowing only one run to score.
In the top of the ninth, Michalec allowed a one-out single and hit a batter to put the tying run at second and go-ahead run at first. However, he got Mason Salazar to line right back to him for an easy double play to end the game and pick up his fourth save, allowing one hit in two innings with two strikeouts. Lewis (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win, throwing two innings while allowing a run on one hit with two strikeouts. McKinley (1-1) took the loss for Lamar after surrendering three runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
*Baylor improved to 42-31-1 in the all-time series vs. Lamar, snapping a three-game losing streak in the series. BU is now 23-12 in Waco against the Cardinals.
*Baylor improved to 202-111-1 all-time against current members of the Southland Conference.
*Baylor has started its home season with a perfect 5-0 record. The last time Baylor started its home season with five or more straight wins was in 2012 (7-0).
*Lawton Langford has reached base in 19 straight games dating back to last season.
*Mitch Price's career-high-tying eight-game on-base streak came to an end.
*Matt Menard extended his career-long on-base streak to five games.
*Grayson Porter extended his hitting streak to four games.
*Ben Carl made his first career start, going a career-best 2-for-2 with a walk.
*Nick Lewis earned his first career win in just his sixth collegiate appearance.
*Josh Michalec is now a perfect 4-for-4 in his first four save opportunities.
STAT OF THE GAME
4 – The amount of walks Baylor took in the seventh inning to force in the go-ahead and insurance runs.
TWEET OF THE GAME
@OurDailyBears: #hellowincolumn RT @BaylorBaseball: Baylor hangs on for fifth straight win at home. #SicEm
"We played a pretty solid game. I thought the changes that we made on the defensive side showed up pretty significantly. Ben Carl played lights out at third base, particularly for a first-time starter. I thought Brett [Doe] also handled the few chances that he got at shortstop very well." – BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor hosts No. 4 Cal State Fullerton this weekend in a three-game set. Games are set for 6:30 p.m. CT Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.