LOS ANGELES – On Friday, it was UCLA that successfully pulled off the rally cap look. On Saturday, the Bears decided it was their turn to be the comeback kids.
Shea Langeliers launched a missile over the left-field fence for a two-run home run in the top of the ninth, sending Baylor to an 8-6 rally win over No. 12 UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium. It was a nice bounce-back effort by the Bears (3-2), who let a 2-1 lead slip away in the eighth inning of a 5-2 loss in Friday’s opener.
It also gave UCLA (5-1) its first loss of the year.
Baylor scored four runs in the final three innings of Game 2 to even the series at a game apiece.
The Bears trailed 6-4 entering the seventh before starting to mount their comeback. With two outs and T.J. Raguse on second base, Langeliers banged a single the other way to right field for the RBI, trimming the UCLA lead to 6-5.
An inning later, Cole Haring flexed his muscles for a soaring solo home run to tie the game. It marked the first home run in a BU uniform for Haring, a transfer from McLennan Community College.
In the ninth, Langeliers took on the hero role. Josh Bissonette set the table by working a one-out, five-pitch walk from UCLA’s Kyle Mora. At that point, the Bruins turned to Brian Gadsby out of the bullpen, and Langeliers welcomed him with a bang. The sophomore catcher belted a no-doubt bomb over the wall in left for his second homer of the young season.
Langeliers’ clutch hit pushed Baylor to an 8-6 lead, leaving the game in the hands of closer Troy Montemayor. And as he’s done so many times for the Bears over the past three seasons, Montemayor stepped up to the task. He retired the Bruins in order in the ninth, striking out Garrett Mitchell and Ryan Kreidler for the final two outs. It was the third save of the year for Montemayor.
After powerful pitching performances from the starters in the opener on Friday, the second game started off like a slugfest. The teams combined for four runs apiece in the first three innings. Baylor starter Kyle Hill lasted only four innings on the hill, giving up three earned runs on four hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Davis Wendzel tagged a two-run home run in the first to push the Bears out to the quick 2-0 lead, but UCLA came back with three in the bottom of the inning. Daniel Amaral had a solo homer for the Bruins, and Jeremy Ydens later added an RBI triple.
After UCLA went up 4-2 with a run in the second, Baylor tied the game with a two-run third. Andy Thomas delivered a gapper to right-center for a two-run double.
The Bruins took advantage of a Baylor throwing error in the fifth to go up 6-4.
But after that, Baylor’s bullpen found its rhythm. The foursome of Luke Boyd, Ryan Lekich, Drew Robertson and Montemayor didn’t allow a run over the final four innings. Robertson tallied the win, his first of the year.
The finale of the series is pegged for 3 p.m. Central time on Saturday. Sophomore right-hander Hayden Kettler (1-0, 0.00) draws the starting assignment for Baylor opposite UCLA righty Zach Pettway (1-0, 1.80).