LAWRENCE, Kan. — Baylor continued its hot streak after sweeping the Saturday doubleheader against Kansas at Hoglund Park in Lawrence, Kan. The Bears (24-11, 5-6 Big 12) defeated the Jayhawks (20-15, 2-9 Big 12) 8-2 in the first game, before their 6-2 winner in the night cap.
For the second time this season newcomer Jack Pineda started the game with a home run to give Baylor the 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The Jayhawks answered back in the third with a leadoff homer to center field to knot things up at 1-1. KU took the lead in the fourth after a single and error in the outfield scored one to make it 2-1.
The Bears responded in a big way in the fifth, which started off with a leadoff blast from fourth-year junior Davion Downey to tie it up at 2-2. Later in the inning and with two outs, BU went to work. Second-year freshman Jared McKenzie brought in a run with a single to center field while giving the Bears the 3-2 edge. Back-to-back doubles to right center from second-year freshman Tre Richardson and fifth-year senior Andy Thomas made it 5-2, before newcomer Antonio Valdez crushed a two-run shot over the scoreboard in right field to push the advantage to 7-2.
Baylor added an insurance run in the seventh when McKenzie tripled and Richardson brought him home with a sacrifice fly to make it 8-2, the eventual final.
BU starter Tyler Thomas (4-2) earned the victory after hurling five innings, allowing one earned run on five hits, while striking out four. In relief, Jacob Ashkinos (2) threw four scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season. For KU, it was starter Ryan Cyr (3-5) who was tabbed with the loss.
Baylor struck first in the third inning after loading the bases with one out, when Andy Thomas singled to center field to make it 1-0. In the next at-bat, Valdez blasted his second home run of the day, this time a three-run shot to put BU in control, 4-0 after three innings.
Kansas battled back in the fourth with two runs of its own to make it a 4-2 ballgame, however, the Bears used a number of stellar defensive plays to keep the Jayhawks off the board the rest of the game.
In the sixth, BU added to its lead when second-year freshman Kyle Nevin brought home Valdez with an RBI-single with two outs.
The Bears used an additional insurance run in the ninth to seal the win after McKenzie belted his fourth hit of the game with an RBI infield single to make it 6-2 in favor of Baylor.
Fifth-year senior Jimmy Winston (6-2) won his team-leading sixth game of the year after throwing 3.2 scoreless innings in relief, while fifth-year man Ryan Leckich (1) earned the first save of his career after closing out the game with 1.1 innings of work. Kansas starer Cole Larsen (4-3) picked up the loss.
- BU has won 11 of its last 12 games.
- Coach Rodriguez is 11-4 all-time against KU.
- BU is now 5-8 away from Baylor Ballpark.
- Baylor has won back-to-back Big 12 series.
- The Bears picked up their first two Big 12 road wins of 2021.
- Baylor is 7-1 in doubleheaders.
- Baylor swept the Saturday doubleheader last time it faced Kansas on March 30, 2019 in Lawrence.
- The Bears hit three home runs in the first game of the day, which is the most for BU in a Big 12 game this season.
- Fourth-time this season Baylor has homered in its first at-bat of the game after Pineda did so in game one.
- Valdez is the first BU player since Aaron Miller on April 15, 2007 at Kansas to homer in both games of a doubleheader.
- Valdez finished the day 4-for-7 with two home runs, 5 RBI and three runs scored. He now has three home runs on the season.
- McKenzie went an unheard of 7-of-10 on the day with two runs, two RBI, a double and his third triple of the season.
- Downey hit his fourth home run of his career and 14thof his career in game one.
- Pineda hit his second career home run, both of which have come in Baylor’s first at-bat of a game. He also smacked his team-leading 11thdouble of the season in game two.
- Tyler Thomas has a new career-high in wins with four on the season.
- Ashkinos threw a season-long four innings of scoreless baseball in game one.
- Winston has a new career-high with six wins in a season, which leads the team. He has not allowed a run in his last four appearances (14.1 IP).
- Leckich earned his first career save after coming into a three-run game with two outs in the eighth and closing things out in the ninth.
QUOTE FROM COACH ROD
“The two-out RBI became a big thing for us today. I thought our guys had some really good at-bats throughout and I think there were some innings where we gave some at-bats away, but overall, I was really happy with how our guys went about their approach. They put the ball in play when we needed it to be and the execution was really good. “
The Bears and Jayhawks with finish the series tomorrow at 12 p.m. at Hoglund Park.