HOUSTON – Baylor baseball posted a 4-0 shutout of No. 9 Ole Miss to begin the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic on Friday afternoon at Minute Maid Park. The Bears (10-0) used timely hitting and outstanding pitching to upset the Rebels (7-2).
BU starter Nick Lewis struck out five of the first 11 batters and did not allow a runner to reach third base all game. Meanwhile, the Baylor bats were active in the second inning. Matt Menard led off with a single and scored on Kameron Esthay’s double the followed. Josh Bissonette then plated Esthay with a single for a 2-0 lead.
The Bears extended the lead with a run on a Steven McLean two-out single in the fourth and another run on a sacrifice fly by Tucker Cascadden in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.
After Lewis struck out the side in the seventh, Kyle Hill worked the eighth and ninth to secure the victory.
Lewis (3-0) earned the win with seven shutout innings while giving up just two hits and four walks with nine strikeouts. Ole Miss starter David Parkinson (2-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts in four innings.
*Baylor is 10-0 to start a season for the first time since 1984 (13-0, best start in school history) and has its second best start ever.
*Baylor is one of six undefeated teams in NCAA DI baseball.
*Baylor shutout a ranked team for the first time since a 1-0 win vs. No. 23 Texas Tech on March 14, 2014.
*Baylor tossed a two-hitter vs. a ranked team since a 7-1 win over No. 15 TCU on Feb. 21, 2012.
*Baylor tossed a two-hitter for the first time since a 7-2 win vs. Oklahoma on March 28, 2015.
*Baylor has three pitching shutouts in its first 10 games since 1991 (4).
*Baylor has three pitching shutouts in a season for the first time since 2014 (3, had 5 in 2013).
*Baylor is 4-4 under Steve Rodriguez against Baseball America ranked teams (Ole Miss ranked No. 20) and 198-292-1 all-time, including a 29-39 mark in neutral sites, and 33-40 mark since 2011.
*Baylor is 2-0 away from Baylor Ballpark this season (1-0 on road, 1-0 in neutral sites).
*Baylor has won 10 straight games for the first time since winning 24 straight from March 16-April 22, 2012.
*Baylor leads the series over Ole Miss 5-1 and has won five straight – Friday marked the teams’ first meeting at a neutral site.
*Senior starter Nick Lewis has his first three-game winning streak of his career and set a career high with nine strikeouts – he tied a season high with seven innings pitched.
*Sophomore centerfielder Richard Cunningham has a six-game on-base streak as he had his third multi-hit game – with his triple, he now has seven extra base hits in his last five games (five doubles, two triples).
*Junior JUCO transfer shortstop Tucker Cascadden has an RBI in all 10 games as a Bear and has a five-game hitting streak.
*Sophomore left fielder T.J. Raguse has a six-game on-base streak.
*Freshman first baseman Davis Wendzel has a seven-game on-base streak.
*Junior third baseman Steven McLean has a four-game hitting streak.
*Sophomore second baseman Josh Bissonette has a five-game hitting streak.
*Junior right fielder Kameron Esthay has a four-game hitting streak.
STAT OF THE GAME
16 – The amount of years between Baylor having three pitching shutouts in its first 10 games.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“I’m so proud of the effort [Nick Lewis] has given. The effort he and Coach [Jon] Strauss put together in the offseason and this season has been really awesome. It’s taken us a while to learn who these kids are and their strengths. You come in as a new staff and try to coach, we are learning who they are and they are learning who we are, and now that we have a little bit of time underneath us we’re really gelling very well.” – Head Coach Steve Rodriguez
Baylor continues the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park with games Saturday at 3:35 p.m. CT vs. No. 3 LSU and Sunday at 5:05 p.m. vs. No. 11 Texas A&M.