No. 2 seed Baylor baseball fell 8-5 to No. 3 seed Texas A&M in the opener of the Houston Regional at Schroeder Park. The Bears (34-22) were unable to hang on to a 4-2 lead as the Aggies (37-21) scored five costly runs in the sixth.
Trailing 2-0 after the first inning, the Bears wasted a bases-loaded chance in the second. However, they did not in the third as Aaron Dodson hit a grand slam to give BU a 4-2 lead.
Then came a rough sixth inning as TAMU scored five runs on two hits, five walks and one error for a 7-4 lead. BU loaded the bases in the bottom half, but only managed to get one run on a Josh Bissonette RBI fielder’s choice.
The Aggies got the run back, however, with a two-out error and double in the eighth, and closed it out from there as the Bears stranded a leadoff double by Kameron Esthay in the eighth.
TAMU starter Brigham Hill (8-3) was credited with the win, despite giving up five runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Kaylor Chafin earned the save with 3.2 scoreless innings. BU starter Montana Parsons (5-4) took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in five-plus innings.
*Baylor is 43-40 all-time in NCAA postseason play, 36-27 in regionals and 22-14 in neutral regional games.
*Baylor is making its 19th NCAA Regional appearance and first since 2012.
*Baylor is one of three Power Five schools (Florida State, Kentucky) to earn a bowl game/NCAA postseason appearance in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and softball.
*The game featured a seven-minute rain delay prior to first pitch and a 40-minute lightning delay between the end of the second and beginning of the third innings.
*Baylor is 130-182-4 all-time against Texas A&M, 7-8 in neutral sites and 0-1 in NCAA postseason play – BU won 6-3 in the teams’ last meeting on a walk-off grand slam by Tucker Cascadden at Minute Maid Park on March 5 earlier this season.
*Baylor has won 15 of its last 25 games and 10 of its last 16 after going through a stretch of losing eight of 10 games from March 24-April 8.
*Baylor is 14-11 away from Baylor Ballpark this season (12-7 on road, 2-4 in neutral sites).
*Baylor has hit 36 home runs in its last 29 games after hitting 14 in its first 26 games.
*Baylor has 50 home runs this season through 56 games, which are 16 more than its season output of 34 in 53 games in 2016. BU has 40 or more homers for the first time since 2012 (46) and 50 or more for the first time since 2010 (57).
*Senior first baseman Aaron Dodson had his 17th multi-hit game and 11th multi-RBI game of the season as he blasted his first career grand slam for his career-high 11th homer of the season and 21st of his career. The grand slam was Baylor’s first in NCAA postseason play since Kenton Gedwed vs. Minnesota on May 31, 2009 in the Baton Rouge Regional.
*Sophomore center fielder Richard Cunningham has a career-high 11-game hitting streak.
*Freshman third baseman Davis Wendzel notched his eighth multi-hit game.
STAT OF THE GAME
5 – The amount of runners Baylor left on base, scored in the game and gave up in the sixth inning.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We had one bad inning, which was frustrating. I’m not taking away anything from Texas A&M because they deserve credit for executing, they are coached well and played hard. I am proud of how we battled from first pitch to last pitch. It’s a one-game season tomorrow, so everyone will be on deck in the bullpen and we’ll do whatever we need to do to have a chance to win that game.” – Head Coach Steve Rodriguez
Baylor will face the loser of No. 1 seed Houston vs. No. 4 seed Iowa in an elimination game on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN3 in the Houston Regional at Schroeder Park.