HUNTSVILLE, Texas – An impressive pitching
performance by starter Sterling Wynn and reliever Josh Michalec paced
Baylor to a 4-1 win over Sam Houston State on Wednesday evening at Don Sanders Stadium. The Bears (10-12) duo combined
for 8.2 innings, allowing one run on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts against the Bearkats (10-10).
In the best start of his rookie season, Wynn
allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Farney and single to Luke Plucheck to
start the game, but served up a huge 6-4-3 double play. The play scored
a run, however, cleared the bases and got Wynn
in rhythm as he struck out Ryan O'Hearn before following with three
scoreless frames. His four-inning effort was a season-long as he
surrendered just the run along with four hits and a walk while striking
Michalec entered the game in the fifth and kept
SHSU scoreless in 4.2 innings to allow the offense to get going. In a
career-long outing, Michalec (2-1) picked up his second career win,
giving up just three hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
"I thought Sterling Wynn gave us four really,
really good innings," said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. "He only gave us
one base on balls and Josh didn't have one there until the ninth.
Between the two of them they ate up 8.2 innings with
two base on balls and threw really well tonight."
Baylor took the lead in the sixth on three straight
hits. Logan Brown started the rally with a one-out single and moved up
on a Lawton Langford singled. Then Nathan Orf came through with a
clutch two-run double to left-center.
"We hadn't had an RBI double in awhile, at least it
feels that way," Smith said. "The guys at the top, between Brown,
Langford and Orf, had good at-bats. I thought tonight,
in terms of how we played, was one of the better games we've
played this year. Our identity as a club has to be throwing strikes,
playing defense and competing at the plate. We don't have the type of
team to overcome any shortcomings in those areas. Tonight, we were [that identity]."
The Bears added to the lead in the seventh and
eighth innings. Brown scored a run with a fielder's choice in the
seventh and Adam Toth brought the eighth inning run in on a sacrifice
With the game seemingly in hand, SHSU mounted a
late rally in the ninth with a two-out walk and single off Michalec.
But Ryan Smith came in and induced a lineout to right to end it, picking
up his fourth save.
BU's first four hitters combined to go 6-for-18
with three RBI and runs scored. Brown and Langford led the way by going
2-for-5 apiece. Orf and Cal Towey each went 1-for-4 with doubles.
Baylor begins Big 12 play this weekend at Oklahoma State as the Bears continue of stretch five straight games on the road.