Feb. 14, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz. - Baylor opened its 2014 season with a dramatic come-from-behind win over No. 19 Arizona State on Friday to begin the last season at ASU's Packard Stadium. The Bears (1-0) scored three runs in the eighth inning and four in the ninth to overcome ASU's (0-1) 7-2 lead.
After a rough sixth and seventh innings that saw the Sun Devils score six combined runs thanks in part to some Baylor miscues, the Bears didn't stay down long. Grayson Porter started the comeback with a leadoff single in the top of the eighth, and Aaron Dodson followed with a single. An out later, Darryn Sheppard singled to score Porter. Then the momentum changer happened as West Tunnell roped a ball to right field for a two-run double that ASU's Trever Allen misread.
Daniel Castano took the mound for Baylor in the bottom of the eighth, and kept the Bears in position for the comeback. Earning the win in his collegiate debut, Castano (1-0) retired ASU's 1-2-3 hitters in order with two strikeouts.
With one out in the ninth, Lawton Langford reached on an HBP from ASU pitcher Nick Diamond (0-1) to bring the tying run to the plate in Porter. And Porter responded in a huge way, blasting a 3-0 pitch over the left field wall to tie the game. Dodson followed with another HBP to force the Sun Devils to bring in pitcher Hever Bueno, who gave up a single to right field off the bat of Duncan Wendel. As the ball approached Allen, it hit his glove and skipped past him to allow pinch-runner Hayden Ross to score the go-ahead run. Adding insurance, Sheppard roped a single through the left side of a drawn-in infield.
Josh Michalec then nailed down the ninth in order with two strikeouts for his first career save. Taking a no decision for the Bears was starter Dillon Newman, who threw 4.1 innings while allowing a solo homer to Allen as part of the six hits he gave up. He also fanned three and walked one.
*Baylor is 12-8 in season openers under head coach Steve Smith, including wins in five of the last seven.
*Baylor is 4-5 when opening the season away from Waco, Texas, in Smith's 19-year tenure.
*Baylor has won each of the last four games in the series against ASU but the Sun Devils lead the all-time series 6-5 and 4-2 in Tempe.
*Baylor owns a 24-23 record against current members of the Pac-12 Conference.
*Baylor is 48-53 all-time in TV games, made its debut on the Pac-12 Network and owns an 18-12 record in TV games since 2012.
*Grayson Porter went 2-for-4 with three RBI, a career-high-tying two runs scored and a homer.
*In his collegiate debut, Aaron Dodson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk.
*In his collegiate debut, Darryn Sheppard went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
*The last time Baylor overcame a five-run deficit was April 14, 2013 against Oklahoma.
STAT OF THE GAME
7 - The amount of runs scored over the last two innings of the game for Baylor to overcome ASU's 7-2 lead.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Bears stormed back from 7-2 deficit. RT @BaylorBaseball: T9: PORTER ROCKS THE HOUSE! 2-RUN HOMER on 3-0 count. Game tied at 7-7.— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) February 15, 2014
"We were very good in the eighth and ninth, not so much in the sixth and seventh. We hung in there and battled. I like the fact that our kids now believe they can win a game like this." - BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor takes on ASU in the second game of the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT. The scheduled pitching matchup is BU LHP Brad Kuntz (did not pitch in 2013) against ASU LHP Ryan Kellogg (2013: 11-1, 3.15 ERA, 17 BB, 54 K).