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Bears maul visiting Bobcats 22-3

Feb. 15, 2001

Late grand slam caps strong night at plate for Baylor


Sports writer

The sweet sound of a home run was heard three times in the Baylor Ballpark Wednesday night as the Bears (5-3) blew out Southwest Texas State University 22-3.

Catcher Kelly Shoppach hit the first homer in the 2nd inning to get the offense started. Third baseman Matt Williams followed up with a blast to straight away center, over the 400-foot mark in the same inning.

Back-up catcher Paul Richmond had the honor of the first grand slam of the year, driving in Mark Saccomanno, Steve Dorneman and Chris Durbin.

'I'm really proud of the guys,' Shoppach said. 'They showed a lot of heart tonight. We had a rough weekend, so it was great to see us bounce back.'

The Bobcats (6-3) had a tough night, going through six pitchers, and making four errors. Pitcher Tim Wade (1-1) took the loss for Southwest Texas.

'It was a hitter's day for us,' head Coach Steve Smith said.

'I think they were probably disappointed in their defense, because they gave us so many shots to score.'

Baylor got strong pitching from Jared Theodorakos (1-0), who led the Bears through the first five innings. His first night as a starter ended with six hits, one run and three strike-outs.

'The real story behind the game was Theodorakos,' Smith said.

'It was phenomenally encouraging to see him throw as well as he did. It was a big moment for him.'

The announced crowd of 2,100 fans got its encouragement from the 19 hits, 19 RBI and 22 runs on the night.

'We had a team meeting Tuesday and we talked about how we needed to bear down and get tougher at bat,' Williams said.

'Kelly did a great job tonight, and I was fortunate enough to get a fastball. I've only done that [hit over the 400 mark] once before and it really shocked me.'

In the seventh inning alone, Baylor got nine runs on six hits.

The team batting average was .463 for the game.

The Bears defense stayed strong with two double-plays and one error. Justin Taylor pitched the sixth and seventh innings, Kyle Edens picked up the eighth and Justin Spooner wrapped up the ninth. The Bobcats got only nine hits off of Baylor.

'This game gave us some good momentum for the weekend,' Williams said. 'It was a great way to start the week.'

Up next on the schedule for the Bears, who maintain their No. 21 ranking in the Baseball America Poll is a rest day in preparation for a three-game series against Nicholls State University this weekend in Waco. Friday's game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.