WACO, Texas — Max Garner and reliever Crayton Bare combined on an eight-hit shutout, lifting Baylor to an 8-0 victory and snapping West Virginia’s eight-game winning streak Saturday.
The Bears (15-16, 4-3) evened the three-game Big 12 series and set up a rubber game Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Eastern.
WVU (17-14, 4-4) fell behind early and couldn’t catch up, stranding eight baserunners.
Garner (2-3) scattered seven hits in six innings, working around a blister that developed in the second and third innings.
“It was a little bit rough to work around,” he said. “I’ve never even had a blister on my throwing finger before in my life so I didn’t really know how to deal with it.
“But it was especially about getting the leadoff hitters out, which I did except in the second and third innings. That keeps their offense from moving so if you get the first guy out it takes that away.”
Bare finished the game with a near-perfect final three innings, allowing only one hit and striking out six.
“I hope we have him for at least an inning or a matchup or something tomorrow,” said Baylor coach Steve Smith. “He’s a little gimpy right now with a hip flexor deal and we’ve had to not throw him since his last time out. So not knowing what he would be like going in, he was exceptional.”
West Virginia’s Corey Walter (2-3) lasted only 4 1/3 innings. The junior, who allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out only one, surrendered a second-inning solo homer to Grayson Porter, his fifth of the season.
Porter gave Baylor a 2-0 lead in the third on a groundout that could have been a double play if not for a wide relay throw by second baseman Billy Fleming.
Baylor expanded the lead to 4-0 in the fifth, benefitting from single that deflected off WVU’s Walter to score Lawton Langford from second base. That brought on WVU reliever and Waco native Corey Holmes, who hit Logan Brown with the bases loaded to force in the fourth run. Holmes induced a ground out by Cal Towey to get out of the bases-loaded jam and minimize the damage.
The Bears added one run in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth, including a sac-fly by Porter.
West Virginia was led by third baseman Ryan Tuntland, who had three hits for the second consecutive day.
Langford and Jake Miller each had three hits to pace the Bears.
Sunday’s series finale can be heard on the affiliates of the Mountaineers Sports Network (WAJR 1440 AM in Morgantown), with audio links and stats available at WVUsports.com.