By Tyler Kading
HOUSTON- Baylor defeated the Missouri 4-2 Friday afternoon in the first game of the 2020 Shriners Hospital for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Texas.
The Tigers started off strong, scoring in the first after Clayton Peterson came home on a double play from catcher Chad McDaniel. The Tigers had quality scoring opportunities in the second, third, and fourth, though all were for naught.
Baylor starting pitcher Paul Dickens had major command issues towards the beginning of the game, issuing three walks in five plus innings, throwing a very inefficient 95 pitches over that span.
The Tigers were able to claw across a run in the fifth without the benefit of a hit. Seth Halvorsen got a hit by pitch, advanced on an error and then a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly from McDaniel.
Baylor was sat down in order in both the first and second innings, but then two errors from Tigers shortstop Austin James, coupled with a double from Esteban Cordoza-Oquendo and a single from star shortstop Nick Loftin, allowed two Bears runners to cross the plate. Loftin was one of only two Big 12 players to check in on MLB Pipeline’s top 100 2020 draft prospects, at number 49.
Missouri starting pitcher Ian Bedell, currently the No. 62 2020 draft prospect per MLB Pipeline, then settled down until the sixth inning, when right fielder Mack Mueller took him seemingly a country mile into the Crawford Boxes in left field. Bedell finished after 6.1 innings pitched, conceding three runs, although only Mueller’s home run was earned.
Baylor couldn’t score in the seventh, despite loading the bases off of Bedell and reliever Andrew Vail. Andy Thomas hopped into a 4-6-3 double play when given the opportunity to put the game away.
Mueller came up in the eighth and hit another home run, this one off of Vail, and this one further than his rocket off of Bedell. He took Vail deep to left center field, hitting it over the 404 foot sign. After a long review, for which the reasoning is still uncertain, the home run was confirmed and the Bears took a 4-2 lead.
Luke Mann was hit by a pitch to start the top of the ninth, but the Tigers couldn’t do anything with it, going down very quietly against Baylor closer Luke Boyd, who caught Clayton Peterson looking to end it.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org