WACO, Texas – The No. 2-seeded Baylor baseball team put on an offensive clinic Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Regional, eliminating No. 4-seed Omaha 24-6 behind a record-setting day by Shea Langeliers and the Bears at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Langeliers went 5-for-6 with three home runs and a career-high 11 RBI to lead the charge at the plate. His 11 RBI is not only a Baylor record, but an NCAA postseason record as well. Langeliers’ three home runs also tied a BU record.
Five Baylor starters recorded at least two hits and eight of the starting nine hit safely as the Bears scored 24 runs, their most ever in a postseason game and most in any single game since April 23, 2008 when BU scored 25 at Texas State.
Baylor (35-18) got off to a fast start as Langeliers hit his first home run of the day in the top of the first, a two-run shot scoring Richard Cunningham that gave the Bears an early 2-0 lead.
The Mavericks (31-24-1) answered promptly with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first to cut the Bears lead to 2-1, but Baylor starter Paul Dickens responded with consecutive strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning.
The Bears kept the offense rolling in the top of the second as Nick Loftin doubled in a run and chased Omaha starter Joey Machado from the mound. Langeliers returned to the plate in the third with another home run, this time a solo shot that extended the lead to 4-1.
Omaha scratched across a run in the bottom of the third to trim the score to 4-2, but Baylor continued to add to its lead in the top of the fourth inning as three more runs came across to score. Langeliers singled in a pair and Andy Thomas joined in on the fun with a run-scoring single of his own, swelling the lead to 7-2.
Josh Bissonette led off the fifth with a solo blast, keeping the Bears’ scoring streak going, as they scored in each of the first seven innings. Thomas later doubled in another two runs to give BU a 10-2 advantage.
The Mavericks benefitted from a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth as they tried to make a dent in Baylor’s lead, but Baylor showed no signs of slowing down at the plate, putting up a four spot in the top of the sixth. Loftin singled in a run and Langeliers hit a three-run double to move the total to 14-4.
In the seventh, the Bears poured it on with seven runs in the frame. Bissonette had an RBI single, Cunningham had a two-run double and Langeliers and Thomas hit back-to-back jacks to make it 21-4. Langeliers hit a three-run shot for his third bomb of the day, while Thomas crushed a solo homer to dead center.
After Omaha scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, both teams went down scoreless in the eighth. Then in the ninth, Baylor’s closer Kyle Hill stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter and sliced an RBI double to make it 22-6. Hill has now driven in more runs in 2019 than he has allowed on the mound, with one.
Davis Wendzel put the cherry on top with a two-run double before Hayden Kettler finished things off on the mound with a quick bottom of the ninth. Dickens earned the win and improved to 6-2 on the year.
Baylor will take on the loser of the No. 1 UCLA and No. 3 Loyola Marymount contest in an elimination game Sunday at 2 p.m. CT/Noon PT. If the Bears win, they will take on the winner of the Bruins-Lions matchup Sunday at 8 p.m. CT/6 p.m. PT with a chance to force a winner-take-all game seven of the regional set for Monday 9 p.m. CT/7 p.m. PT.
By Rachel Caton