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Vick & Blank Honored By Big 12
11:00 A.M. TUESDAY, FEB. 28, 2012

DAVID KAYE

Logan Vick and Trent Blank were honored as Big 12 Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced Monday.

Vick hit .400 (8-for-20) with four doubles, a home run, five RBI, four runs scored and one stolen base during the week. He drew four walks and struck out just once, posting a .480 on-base percentage and a .750 slugging percentage. Vick also had a sacrifice fly, single and walk in Tuesday's win over No. 15 TCU. He walked twice in Wednesday's win over Texas State.

Vick's best game came when he had four doubles - all in consecutive at-bats - walked once, scored three runs and collected two RBI in Friday's series-opening win at No. 22 UCLA. Vick became the first Big 12 Conference player to hit four doubles in a game since 2003, and he came up one double shy of tying Jeremy Dodson's school and NCAA Division I record of five doubles in a game. Vick nearly had that fifth double in his first at-bat when his sharp grounder down the first base line was ruled foul on a very close call, and he ended up drawing a walk in that plate appearance. Vick singled, stole a base and drove in a run in the second game at UCLA and hit a solo homer and singled in Sunday's series finale.

Blank earned two of the Bears three wins during the week and now has half of the team's six wins on the season. He allowed only one hit - a single - in 7.0 innings in two appearances against ranked teams. Blank earned a win vs. No. 15 TCU with 4.0 hitless innings on Tuesday, and he picked up a win at No. 22 UCLA with 3.0 shutout innings on Friday. He was the first of three Baylor pitchers in the TCU game to combine to hold the Horned Frogs hitless over the first 7.2 innings, covering 28 batters. In his outing against TCU, Blank threw 62 pitches and struck out two batters. That efficiency allowed him to come back and throw 30 pitches over 3.0 innings with one strikeout only three days later in the series opener at UCLA. Blank was so efficient that he was getting loose in the Baylor bullpen and could've been called on to pitch two days later in Sunday's series finale.

The weekly honors marked the third time in program history the Bears have had both Big 12 Player and Pitcher of the Week at the same time. Chris Slater and Logan Verrett were honored on March 14 last year, and Josh Ford and Mark McCormick won both awards on March 22, 2004.

With a 6-2 start in eight games against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams, the Bears have climbed as high as No. 21 in the ESPN/USATODAY Coaches Top 25 Poll, and they're ranked No. 25 for the second straight week by Baseball America. With five more games on the schedule this week, by Sunday the Bears will have played 12 games in a 15-day stretch. This week's schedule starts with Sam Houston State at Baylor Ballpark at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday and wraps up with the QTI Baylor Classic. The Bears take on UC Irvine at 6:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday and face Lamar at 2:05 p.m. Saturday and 3:05 p.m. Sunday.

For further updates, follow the Baylor Baseball Twitter feed (@BaylorBaseball).


Perfect Game's Big 12 Preview
10:05 A.M. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8, 2012

DAVID KAYE

Perfect Game released its 2012 Big 12 Conference preview on Tuesday and Kendall Rogers had plenty of comments on the Bears. You can read the complete preview here, but a subscription is required.

Like every other publication to release a 2012 preseason ranking, PG picks Baylor to finish fourth in the conference behind Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. It says Texas and Texas A&M are likely to battle for the conference title this year, but Oklahoma and Baylor are also in the mix:

"Baylor is a small step behind the Sooners, but, too, is expected to be good this spring. The Bears should be improved offensively with the return of catcher Josh Ludy, first baseman Max Muncy and ultra-talented outfielder Logan Vick, while junior left-hander Josh Turley leads the starting rotation."

Rogers names Ludy and Muncy to his preseason All-Big 12 team, the same two that were named in College Baseball Daily's conference preview. CBD's preview also lists Muncy No. 2 among the league's Top 5 Hitters.

Rogers has additional notes on each team, followed by rankings of MLB Draft Prospects. Here's what he had to say about the Bears:

"Baylor is having an excellent school year from an athletics standpoint, and the baseball team should continue the new trend. The Bears have an intriguing sophomore pitcher to watch in closer Dillon Newman, who topped out at 92 during fall workouts. Also keep an eye on freshman two-way player Michael Howard. Howard is a left-handed pitcher with a fastball that sits around 90 mph. He also is a very good athlete and outfielder with some solid power at the plate. Speaking of athletic, keep an eye on outfielder Adam Toth, who was clocked at a 6.50 in the 60-yard-dash in the fall."

As far as draft prospects, Baylor had five players ranked among the league's top 50:

No. 16 Max Muncy, 1B (projected round: 3-5)
"Big-time run-producing potential with good raw LH power/plate discipline; can play anywhere in the field, plays first base now, may end up at second base."

No. 21 Logan Vick, OF (projected round: 4-8)
"Versatile athlete, can play multiple positions; has the tools to wind up at 2B or CF, perhaps even catcher; very good speed at 6.6, good arm strength."

No. 31 Michael Howard, LHP/OF (projected round: 5-15 [2014])
"Two-way player with good frame for LHP; projectable arm/stuff with a clean arm motion, FB has been up to 93 in the past, CU has room for improvement; Twins 21st-rounder a year ago."

No. 35 Trae Davis, RHP (projected round: 8-15 [2013])
"High-profile signee from Texas HS, struggled as FR for Bears (3-1, 6.75, 21 IP, 18 BB/18 SO); has stocky 5-11/215 build, but very athletic with FB up to 94-95, developing power SL."

No. 49 Max Garner, RHP (projected round: 10-25)
"6-2/200 RHP has battled a severe case of ulcerative colitis through much of his college career; missed 2010 (sic) season on medical redshirt, became Bears primary closer in 2011 (2-4, 3.12, 8 SV); steps in as No. 2 starter this spring with 90-92 FB and SL that is best breaking ball on Baylor staff."

Baylor opens the 2012 season by hosting Oral Roberts for a three-game series at Baylor Ballpark starting Feb. 17. For a full list of this season's promotions, click here.

For further updates, follow the Baylor Baseball Twitter feed (@BaylorBaseball).

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