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No. 23 Baseball's Comeback Falls Short Versus No. 2 UCLA


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

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Waco, Texas • Attendance: 2,715

(1-4) Rank: 23
Runs 4 3
AB 36 31
Hits 8 7
RBI 3 2
BB 4 6
SO 9 6
LOB 11 12

Carroll 3 H 3 Two
Valaika 1 2B -- None
None -- 3B -- None
None -- HR -- None
Three 1 RBI 1 Two
Four 1 R 2 Toth
Carroll 2 SB 2 Toth

W - Plutko (1-0) 6.0 5 1 1 2 2
L - Garner (0-2) 5.0 5 2 1 1 5
S - Kaprielian (1) 1.0 1 1 1 2 3

Logan Brown extended his hitting streak to four games ... Lawton Langford and Brown extended their on-base streaks to four ... Baylor pitchers have struck out at least five batters in all five games ... 11 of BU's 16 runs on the season have come with two outs ... 27 of the 33 runs against Baylor this season have come with two outs ... Trae Davis extended his scoreless appearance streak to seven, dating back to last season (8.0 IP, seven runners allowed, six strikouts) ... Baylor is now 180-264-1 against teams ranked by Baseball America ... UCLA took a 3-2 lead in all-time series with Baylor ... Baylor is now 21-22 against Pac-12 teams all-time ... Nathan Orf has bunt singles in each of his last two games.

WACO, Texas- No. 23 Baylor had many scoring chances against No. 2 UCLA, including a bases-loaded ninth inning, but the Bears (1-4) just couldn't get the big hit to push past the Bruins (3-1) in Friday night's series opener at Baylor Ballpark.

"It was a really competitive game," said Baylor Head Coach Steve Smith. "It wasn't a real pretty game, but it was competitive. A lot of good arms went out there and there were a lot of competitive at-bats."

A near four-hour game came down to the last at-bat in the ninth as Baylor entered the inning down 4-2. Facing hard-throwing UCLA closer James Kaprielian, Adam Toth drew a one-out walk and Nathan Orf followed with a single off Kaprielian's leg. After Lawton Langford struck out, Kaprielian got Mitch Price to swing on a third strike in the dirt that should have ended the game but the ball bounced all the way to the back stop, keeping Baylor alive. Cal Towey then drew an RBI walk and put the go-ahead run at second for pinch-hitter Wes Mercurio. Down to his last strike, Mercurio used a contact swing to put the ball in play but it was a slow grounder to the Kaprielian, who calmly fielded and threw to first for his first save.

Prior to the ninth, the Bears had runners in scoring position in second, third, fifth, sixth and eighth innings but were unable to take advantage. For the game, Baylor stranded 12 on base, while UCLA left 11 on.

"I thought we had some real competitive at-bats all the way up and down the order, but we didn't have a lot of hits to show for it," said Smith. "We were competing at the plate. I thought we played hard and I thought we competed. It is early in the year and we would like to be just a little bit better. We had three real big-time defensive plays and without those plays we aren't really in the game. We have them back two more times and we will see how it plays out."

Both starting pitchers threw high amounts of pitches but yielded solid results to give their teams a chance to win. Taking a tough loss, BU RHP Max Garner (0-2) amassed 87 pitches over five innings as he allowed one earned run and an unearned run on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He ended his outing retiring the last seven hitters he faced with Baylor down 2-1.

"He got his pitch count up in three innings but we were able to squeeze two more out of him," Smith said of Garner. "There were just a few little things once he was out of the game that in the end won that game."

UCLA's Adam Plutko (1-0) picked up the win by throwing six innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 93 pitches. Baylor's run off Plutko came on a Towey sacrifice fly in the first inning that scored Toth after an infield single, Orf infield single and Langford sacrifice bunt. The run answered UCLA's first inning run on a Cody Regis single that scored Pat Valaika after a one-out double.

The Bruins took the lead for good in the third, after a Logan Brown sliding catch and slick backhand stop by Duncan Wendel preserved a scoreless second. Kevin Kramer led off the frame by being plunked and moved to second on a passed ball. Two outs later, Shane Zeile singled him home.

Two-out hitting is what fueled UCLA as all four runs came in that fashion. In the sixth, a jam-shot single by Brian Carroll scored a one-out walk. Then in the seventh, a lead-off walk came around to score on a wild pitch on a third strike by Crayton Bare that should have ended the inning. The seventh could have been worse if not for back-to-back diving plays by Langford and Jake Miller up the middle for the first two outs.

In the seventh, Miller led off by being hit by a Ryan Deeter delivery. Following a wild pitch and balk, Miller came home on a Brett Doe pinch-hit sacrifice fly.

Carroll led the way for UCLA with three hits, two steals and an RBI. Orf and Toth posted three hits apiece for Baylor. Toth also scored two runs and stole two bases.

The teams resume the series tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. CT as BU RHP Dillon Newman (0-0, 5.79 ERA) matches up with UCLA RHP Nick Vander Tuig (1-0, 0.00 ERA).




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