MEMPHIS – That’s one way to corral a Tiger – don’t even let him out of the cage.
Baylor freshman Tyler Thomas and three relief pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout of Memphis in a 7-0 victory on Sunday at FedEx Park, claiming the series two games to one. It’s the Bears’ first series win since knocking off Texas Tech in the Big 12-opening set March 16-18.
Thomas (1-2) turned in a magnificent outing in earning his first collegiate win. The left-hander tied a career high with five innings of work, giving up just one hit and striking out four while walking two. Then the bullpen picked up the baton and ran with it – as Kyle Hill added two scoreless innings, Joe Heineman pitched a perfect eighth, and then Drew Robertson closed it out with a scoreless ninth.
The Bears (17-17) returned to .500 in their final nonconference series of the season.
The Baylor offense supported Thomas with a sturdy effort. Davis Wendzel drove in four of the team’s seven runs, including pushing Baylor to a 1-0 lead in the third inning with an RBI single off of Memphis starter Alex Hicks.
The Bears tacked on two more in the fourth on a T.J. Raguse single and a Wendzel fielder’s-choice grounder. Then Andy Thomas extended the gap to 4-0 in the sixth with a timely two-out RBI single.
Baylor kept the onslaught coming in the seventh, as Raguse contributed an RBI single and Wendzel smoked a two-run, two-out single of his own.
That was more than enough padding, considering the way the Baylor pitchers kept Memphis (12-25) off-balance. The BU pitchers combined to strike out nine Tiger batters.
No Baylor hitter is hotter than Raguse, who went 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs. The four hits were a career high, and he delivered his third straight multi-hit game. His batting average is up to .333.
The Memphis series concluded a season-long seven-game road trip for Baylor, which will return home to face Texas Southern on Tuesday. Then the Bears, at 3-9, will resume Big 12 play against TCU, with a home series beginning Friday.