Feb. 4, 2003
WACO, Texas - Southwest Texas scored seven runs in the ninth to overcome a three-run deficit and defeat 10th-ranked Baylor 9-5 Tuesday in the Bears' season opener.
Baylor (0-1) leading 5-2 at the start of the ninth, brought in the school's career saves leader, Zane Carlson (0-1), to close the door on Southwest Texas (1-1). Carlson gave up four runs on three hits while getting only two outs as the Bobcats battled back.
Sean Walker and Russell Reichenbach followed Carlson but could not stop the scoring, Walker allowed two runs without recording an out and Reichenbach gave up one more before finally inducing the final out of the frame.
The Bears loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs, but SWT reliever Sergio Cazares struck out pinch-hitter Mike Heldoorn for the final out of the game to earn his first save of the year. Southwest Texas went through four pitchers in the ninth before finally closing out the game.
Bobcat reliever Brandon Hankins (1-0) picked up the win after throwing a shutout eighth inning, striking out two of the four batters he faced.
The bullpen's struggles overshadowed a strong eight innings of pitching from starter Steven White and reliever Abe Woody. White struck out four, walked one, and gave up two runs on six hits in five innings before leaving on a pitch count.
Woody, in his first collegiate appearance, followed with three shutout innings. The redshirt freshman allowed only one hit before being replaced on the mound by Carlson to start the ninth.
Baylor trailed early, giving up a single run in the third inning. The Bears briefly tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, but the Bobcats reclaimed the lead in the fifth at 2-1.
Baylor went on top 3-2 in the sixth, as a pair of true freshmen played key roles. Designated hitter Tyler Bullock drove in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk, and second baseman Kyle Reynolds followed with a sacrifice fly that drove in the go-ahead run.
The Bears added what looked like two insurance runs in the seventh. Senior Ross Bennett's two-out, two-strike single drove in Chris Durbin and Josh Ford to put the Bears up 5-2. Bennett's single extended his hitting streak to eight games, a streak that dates back to the 2002 season.
Baylor hits the road on the weekend, heading to Tucson for a three-game series against Arizona. Game times are set for 4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. (all times central).