Feb. 11, 2007
HOUSTON, Texas -- A three-run third and a four-run fourth did in Baylor here Sunday as the Bears dropped a 7-4 decision to eighth-ranked Vanderbilt in final-day action at the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Baylor starts the season 0-3 for the first time since 2002 when the Bears also dropped three straight at the Houston College Classic.
This marks only the fourth time since 1972 that Baylor opened a season with three straight losses (1978, 1998, 2002). In each of the three previous seasons, the Bears won their fourth game and eventually reached the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the College World Series in 1978.
Baylor grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second thanks to an errant pickoff throw by Vanderbilt starter Brett Jacobson that allowed Aaron Miller to score from third.
However, Vanderbilt was quick to answer, scoring three runs on four hits and a Baylor error in the top of the third. The key play in the frame was a throwing error by Baylor third baseman Raynor Campbell on a Vanderbilt sacrifice bunt that allowed two runs to score. Two batters later, Ryan Flaherty plated a run with an infield single.
Baylor tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth on Tim Jackson's two-out, two-run triple to right-center. It was the first three-bagger of Jackson's career.
The Commodores again were quick to answer, though, with four runs on three hits, a walk and a hit batsman in the top of the fourth. Dominic de la Osa had the key hit, a two-run, bases-loaded single through the left side. Shea Robin followed with an RBI single, and Jonathan White capped the four-run frame with an RBI groundout.
Beamer Weems pulled Baylor to within three runs at 7-4 with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth. However, the Bears could get no closer as Mike Minor allowed only one walk with two strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings of relief to notch his first save of the season.
Jacobson (1-0) earned the victory, allowing four runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Baylor starter Jeff Mandel (0-1) took the loss after surrendering seven runs, six earned, on nine hits and two walks with a career-high five strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
The Bears host Texas State for a 6:30 p.m. CST first pitch Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark in the 2007 home opener. Freshman right-hander Kendal Volz (0-0, 16.20) is the scheduled starter for the Bears.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 5-3, all of which has come during head coach Steve Smith's tenure. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Baylor against Vanderbilt. This was the first neutral-site meeting in the series history. ... Baylor is 7-8 all-time at the Houston College Classic. ... Weems' home run was the first of the season for the Bears and the first of his career from the left side of the plate. ... Vanderbilt's leadoff batter reached safely in every inning save the first and sixth frames.