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No. 23 Baseball Drops Season Opener to No. 30 UC Irvine


(0-1) Rank: #23
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 9 0
0 0 5 0 0 1 0 0 X 6 11 0

Box Score

Irvine, Calif. • Attendance: 957

(1-0) Rank: 30
Runs 4 6
AB 35 31
Hits 9 11
RBI 4 6
BB 1 4
SO 8 7
LOB 6 8

Three 2 H 3 Two
Three 1 2B 1 Spencer
None -- 3B -- None
Orf 1 HR -- None
Orf 3 RBI 2 Taylor
Four 1 R 1 Six
Goodwin 1 SB -- None

W - Thurman (1-0) 5.2 5 1 1 4
L - Smith (0-1) 2.2 3 5 5 1

All 10 runs in the game were scored with two outs ... Baylor fell to 2-5 all-time under Head Coach Steve Smith when opening a season away from Baylor Ballpark ... The game marked the first time since 2007 that Baylor had opened a season away from home ... The Bears are now 12-13 all-time under Smith in the state of California ... Nathan Orf's three-run long ball in the seventh inning was his third homer of his career at Baylor, and his fifth in NCAA D-I baseball after homering twice while at Illinois-Chicago from 2009-10 ... Baylor is now 11-8 in season openers under Smith ... The loss marked the first for Baylor at UC Irvine -- the Bears were previously 3-0 in Irvine ... Baylor leads the all-time series over UCI 6-4 now -- all games have been under Smith ... The Bears are now 16-20 all-time against teams currently playing in the Big West Conference.

IRVINE, Calif.- No. 23 Baylor started its 2013 season with a 6-4 loss to No. 30 UC Irvine Friday evening at Anteater Ballpark. UCI used a five-run two-out rally in the third to earn the victory.

The game started out well for the Bears as Cal Towey knocked a two-out RBI double in the first, scoring Lawton Langford after a two-out single. But the lead did not hold up.

Making his first career start, Ryan Smith didn't give up a hit or allow a runner to second base until one out into the third inning. Then Smith lost command, hitting a batter and surrendering a walk. Following a line out to right, the free passes came back to bite after another walk loaded the bases for UCI. The Anteaters then strung together four straight two-out singles to score five runs.

"Both teams played well, played hard," said 19th-year Head Coach Steve Smith. "Obviously the difference in this game was base on balls. We had a couple really big at-bats late in the ball game that kept us in it. We played the thing like we ended last year playing. We had a lot of energy in the dugout and played it well on the field."

Giving the Bears a chance, the bullpen held down the UCI bats, surrendering just one run on eight hits and one walk with six strikeouts over the final 5.1 frames. Josh Michalec spear-headed the relief effort with a career-long three inning appearance and a career-best five strikeouts. Doug Ashby recorded two outs before giving way to Trae Davis, who finished the final 1.2 innings.

"Josh threw well," said Smith. "Everybody going out there right now is getting a first look. He threw the ball well and gave us some good innings. He kept us in the game."

After stranding two runners in the fifth, and giving up another two-out run to UCI in the sixth, Baylor fought back in the seventh. Logan Brown started the opportunity with a one-out double down the third base line and then Coach Smith went to the bench with success as pinch-hitter Mitch Price singled to center. An out later, Nathan Orf delivered a huge three-run homer to left on a full count off reliever Andrew Morales to make it a 6-4 deficit.

In the ninth, the Bears nearly pulled off a two-out rally to extend the game. Price delivered his second hit off the bench, a double to left. Jimmy Landes then drew a walk to set up Orf at the plate as the potential go-ahead run. However, Orf didn't have the magic stick against Race Parmenter, who induced a grounder to third to pick up a one-inning save.

The win went to UCI starter Andrew Thurman after a 5.2-inning effort, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts. The loss was handed to Smith after he surrendered five runs on three hits and three walks with one strikeout in 2.2 innings.

UCI's Spencer Connor and Ronnie Shaeffer had three hits apiece while Dominique Taylor drove in two runs. Orf, Brown and Price amassed two hits each for the Bears. Towey, Langford and Adam Toth had Baylor's only other hits.

The teams resume the series tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT as the scheduled pitching matchup is BU RHP Max Garner (2012: 3-3, 4.89 ERA) versus UCI LHP Matt Whitehouse (2012: 0-2, 4.15 ERA).




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