Big Third Inning Leads to Third Straight Baylor Title

Baylor 8, Briarcrest 1. Baylor scored five runs in the third inning and went on to beat Briarcrest 8-1 and win the Raiders' third consecutive state baseball championship Thursday.

photo by Patrick MacCoon, timesfreepress.com

Baylor led 2-0 after parlaying two walks and a Saints error to score two runs without a hit in the second inning. The Raiders came out swinging in the third with Caleb Hampton and Henry Godbout (3-for4) leading off with back-to-back singles. After Danny Corona walked to load the bases, Cooper Kinney doubles to score Hampton and Godbout. Kinney's double was followed promptly by a three-run homer by Vito Valincius, a big nail in the Briarcrest coffin. Baylor added a run on a Hunter Herndon sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Vito Valincius rounds third after his three-run homer in the fifth
(photo by Patrick MacCoon, timesfreepress.com)

Meanwhile, Luke Courdin and Jonathan Larrea combined on yet another strong mound performance for Baylor. Courdin earned the win, scattering four hits and striking out three over four innings, before giving way to Larrea, who allowed one hit and fanned five batters over the final three frames. The Raiders used only four pitchers - Jay Dill, Patrick Johnson, Courdin, and Larrea - in the three tournament games, allowing just two runs on 11 hits while striking out 28 and walking just two over 21 innings.

photo by Patrick MacCoon, timesfreepress.com

The state championship is the fifth for Baylor baseball and the third straight. There was no state championship in 2020 due to COVID-19, but the Raiders won in 2018 and 2019. Other titles came in 2003 and 2006. Baylor ends the season with a 27-4 record.

Click here to download an official box score and play-by-play.

Briarcrest 0 0 0   0 1 0   0 1 5 2
Baylor 0 2 5   0 0 1   X 8 9 1

 

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