FULLERTON, Calif. — On their first road trip of the year, the Baylor baseball team will be lamenting the one that got away.
Maybe even the two.
Baylor allowed a lead to slip away in the late innings for a second straight game, as Fullerton used a two-run seventh to rally over the Bears, 7-6, and pick up a series sweep Saturday.
Fullerton dominated the opener, 10-1, before erupting for a six-run eighth to tally an 11-6 win in the second game later Friday night.
The series sweep marked Baylor’s 10th straight loss in the state of California. The Bears last won in the Golden State Feb. 24, 2012, against UCLA.
Saturday’s finale followed much of the same script as Game 2 the night before. The Bears (6-5) started smoothly, putting up a pair of runs in the first inning on RBI hits from Cameron Miller and Kameron Esthay.
The Titans (5-5) bounced back to take the lead with a three-run second inning, chasing starting pitcher Ryan Smith from the game. Austin Stone entered in a hairy situation and walked his opening batter before firing a wild pitch that allowed Fullerton’s third run to score. Stone eventually escaped the jam when Steve McLean came up with a slick diving stop at second base for the third out.
Baylor answered — loudly. In the third, the redshirt freshman Esthay blasted his first career home run, a two-out, two-run shot that pushed the Bears back in front, 4-3.
In the fifth, Justin Arrington delivered a two-run single to stretch the advantage to 6-3.
The Bears clung to a tight 6-5 lead entering the seventh, but couldn’t hang onto their edge. Reliever Troy Montemayor (0-2) managed to strike out the side in the inning for the Bears, but not before allowing three singles and a walk that led to the tying and go-ahead runs for Fullerton.
Titans reliever Willie Kuhl slammed the door on Baylor from there, closing out with 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief for his first win of the season.
Baylor banged out 15 hits, but left eight runners stranded on base. Aaron Dodson and Jonathan Ducoff each belted three hits, while Esthay was 2-for-4 with the home run and three RBIs.
“It’s a tough game to lose when you do so much offensively like that, and it’s a one-run game,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said. “In a one-run game, you can look back at a lot of different things (as reasons for the loss).”
Fullerton’s David Olmero-Barrera cracked a pair of triples, scoring three runs and driving in two.
Baylor will try to put a halt to its three-game losing streak when it returns to Waco to host Sam Houston State on Wednesday.