WACO, Texas — Baylor’s Nick Loftin got enough of a jump to beat West Virginia center fielder Brandon White’s throw home in the bottom of the ninth, providing the winning run in a 6-5 Bears win in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Loftin scored from second base on David Wendzel’s one-out single up the middle. White’s throw to catcher Ivan Gonzalez would have had a chance against a slower runner, but an official replay review by the umpires confirmed that Loftin, the Bears’ speedy shortstop, touched home safely.
Baylor scored a run in each of the final three innings, erasing a 5-3 West Virginia lead.
With ace Alek Manoah on the mound, the Mountaineers looked to be in control after Marques Inman’s three-run double to take the lead in the fifth inning. Inman, who was 3-for-5, also blasted a two-run homer in the top of the first.
Instead, the Bears chipped away. Wendzel drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Baylor tied the game on Josh Bissonette’s RBI single in the eighth.
Baylor’s first five runs were credited to Manoah, who gave up eight hits and struck out six in 7 1/3 innings.
West Virginia squandered a scoring chance in the top of the ninth when White made the second out attempting to advance from second to third on a grounder to shortstop.
Sam Kessler (1-1) took the loss.
Saturday’s game has been moved up to a 2:05 p.m. start due to expected inclement weather later in the day.