March 6, 2011
HOUSTON - Max Muncy crushed an 0-1 pitch into the right-field stands for a walk-off grand slam as Baylor's 16th-ranked baseball team came from behind to knock off No. 21 Rice, 12-8, in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
Muncy's walk-off homer was the first by a Baylor player since Feb. 27, 2007, when Raynor Campbell hit one against UT Arlington. With the win, Baylor (6-5) finished 2-1 in the 2011 Houston College Classic.
"Rice had a tough call to make in the 10th inning, and they put a couple of guys on hoping for a ball right at them," head coach Steve Smith said. "Max took a fastball and then got a changeup up in the zone and couldn't really hit it better than he hit it."
The Bears came up to bat in the bottom of the 10th with the score tied 8-8. Landis Ware hit a leadoff double off the wall in left field, and Steve DalPorto's sacrifice bunt moved him to third. Brooks Pinckard and Logan Vick were intentionally walked to load the bases, setting up Muncy's grand slam.
Rice (8-5) had a chance to take a lead in the top of the 10th when the Owls put two runners on with one out and Anthony Rendon at the plate. Rendon had already homered in the game, but freshman Trae Davis got him to pop out, and Vick caught Michael Ratterree's line drive at the wall for the third out.
Davis (3-0) picked up the win by working 1.0 hitless inning of relief. J.T. Chargois (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on two hits and two walks in 0.1 inning.
The game went back and forth the whole way, with Baylor's early 4-1 lead the largest lead for either team before the final play of the game. Rice took an early lead on Rendon's solo homer in the first, but the Bears answered with a run in the bottom half when Pinckard reached on a bunt single and scored on Muncy's RBI ground out.
Baylor took the lead with three runs in the third. Ware singled, Steve DalPorto hit a RBI triple and Pinckard and Muncy delivered RBI singles.
Muncy went 3-for-6 and his six RBI were the most by a Baylor player since Aaron Miller had six against Illinois on Feb. 29, 2008. Ware and Pinckard both went 3-for-5 with Pinckard scoring three runs and driving in one.
Baylor starting pitcher Josh Turley cruised through the first four innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters, but Rice got to him for three runs in the fifth. Shane Hoelscher's RBI single cut it to 4-2, but the Bears nearly got out of the inning when Derek Hamilton hit a grounder back to the mound that could've been a double play, but Turley made an errant throw to second and all runners were safe.
Two more RBI singles tied the game at 4-4, and Rice regained the lead on Hoelscher's RBI single in the sixth. The Bears answered again when Ware brought home Joey Hainsfurther with a RBI single to knot the score at 5-5.
A bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring fielder's choice gave Rice a 7-5 lead in the seventh, but the Bears regained the lead in the bottom half when Hainsfurther hit a two-run triple and Chris Slater added a sacrifice fly.
Pinckard moved to the mound to start the eighth. The Owls quickly put two runners in scoring position with no outs, but Pinckard limited the damage to one run on Chargois RBI ground out. Rice wouldn't manage another hit, as Pinckard worked around a two-out walk in the ninth and Davis pitched around two walks in a scoreless 10th.
Baylor returns to action when it travels to San Marcos, Texas for a rematch with Texas State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Bears' last road game before a 14-game homestand.