PLAINVIEW, TX - Prominent as the smiles were on the faces of Wayland Baptist baseball team members a week earlier, that’s how common the frowns were for the Pioneers Friday night at Wilder Field.
Seven days after 20th-ranked Wayland wiped out University of the Southwest in their season-openers, the Pioneers took it on the chin Friday as Sterling College (Kan.) – an NAIA World Series team last season – dealt WBU a pair of sound defeats, 20-1 and 8-0.
The 19-run loss represents the second most-lopsided defeat in the Pioneer program’s 25-year history, behind only a 23-3 setback to Lubbock Christian in 1996. It was the most runs allowed by Wayland since a 21-5 loss to Oklahoma City University in 2013.
On a chilly Friday afternoon, things started out bad for Wayland and never got better…only colder.
The Warriors, making their season debut after finishing last year with a school-best 52-16 record, pounded out 23 hits in the first game compared to just four for Wayland. Almost every Sterling hit – which included a triple and four doubles – seemed to be just out of reach of the Pioneer defense.
Senior Taylor Bridges, who benefited from Wayland’s offense scoring 24 runs in its season-opener against Southwest, allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in four innings with four strikeouts and four walks.
Freshman Ryne Williams suffered a similar fate, giving up eight earned runs on eight hits in just two-thirds of an inning. Tristen Hefner and Mitch Naylor also were roughed up in the final 1 1/3 by the hit-happy Warriors.
The Pioneers trailed 7-0 before giving up eight runs in the fifth. Wayland was down 18-0 when it finally got on the board in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Austin Davis that scored Taylor Grady.
Ernesto Lizardi had half of Wayland’s four hits, going 2-for-2.
In game two, the Pioneers were held to just three hits and struck out 10 times against Sterling’s Kasey Biddle. The Warriors blasted 10 more hits against WBU starter Matt Flores (1-1), Collin Isbell and Kyle Eiffert.
Wayland got only two base runners to second and one to third, and the Pioneers were retired three-up, three-down four times.
WBU will try its luck again Saturday when the teams meet for another doubleheader starting at noon. Live stats will be at www.wbuathletics.com, although no live streaming will be available.
(Courtesy Wayland Baptist Athletics)
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