March 8, 2014
WACO, Texas- In the 500th game at Baylor Ballpark, Baylor baseball earned a 1-0 win over No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on Saturday afternoon. The Bears (7-7) allowed the Titans (8-4) just three hits a day after BU was held to three hits in a loss to set up the series rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
The lone run of the game came in the first inning as Darryn Sheppard doubled to left field and was driven in on one of two singles by Adam Toth. From there, the BU pitching staff took over in the form of Brad Kuntz, Doug Ashby and Josh Michalec.
Kuntz (2-0) earned the win after throwing a career-high-tying six innings, allowing two hits and five walks with two strikeouts. The redshirt junior retired the first seven batters of the game before allowing a one-out walk to Tanner Pinkston in the fourth inning. Later in the same frame, he walked another batter but induced a ground out to end it. In the fifth, a walk and single had the tying run in scoring position for the Titans but Kuntz got a fly out to escape. Kuntz's best inning came in the sixth after allowing a leadoff single and walk. He hunkered down for back-to-back strikeouts and got a groundout to end his day.
Ashby got the first two outs of the seventh before leaving the game with a runner on after a single. Michalec finished the frame and then got a much-needed 4-6-3 double play to end the Titans' threat in the eighth. Michalec then worked a flawless ninth for his fifth save.
Cal State Fullerton starter Justin Garza (2-1) took his first loss of the season after allowing one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in five innings.
*The contest marked the 500th game played at Baylor Ballpark for the Bears. BU is now 355-145 all-time in the stadium and 6-1 this season.
*Josh Michalec remained perfect in save chances for his career, notching his fifth straight save to start the season. All of his career saves (5) have come in 2014.
*Baylor is 3-5 all-time against Cal State Fullerton including a 2-3 record in Waco.
*Baylor is 14-21 against current members of the Big West Conference.
*Baylor is 185-268-1 all-time against Baseball America ranked teams, including a 42-75 mark against top five teams. Since 2012 BU is 12-7 against ranked teams and has won 10 of its last 15 such games. At home against ranked foes, BU is 103-100-1. Baylor has seven wins in its last nine games against top 10 teams. The last time BU faced a top five team was April 20-22, 2012, against No. 2 Texas A&M and BU won all three games.
*Darryn Sheppard has reached base in 13 of his first 14 collegiate games. He went 1-for-4 with a double and scored the game's only run. He has reached base in four straight games.
*Adam Toth notched his third two-hit game of the season.
*Matt Menard tied a career high with two hits, marking the second time he's done so this season.
STAT OF THE GAME
8 - The amount of runners Baylor pitchers stranded on base.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"Brad Kuntz wasn't dominating necessarily, but [his] last inning was big. The whole competitive side of him came out and that is what I get jacked up about. To see guys really get competitive like he did and be at his best at that point of the game made it hard to take him out. My heart told me to leave him in, but my head said to take him out. We still had nine outs to go and I felt that we needed to get that bottom part of the lineup with someone other than [Josh] Michalec, and Doug Ashby was able to do that." - BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor finishes its series against No. 4 Cal State Fullerton at 1 p.m. CT Sunday in the rubber match. The scheduled pitching matchup is BU RHP Austin Stone (1-1, 2.20 ERA) vs. CSFU RHP Grahamm Wiest (1-0, 1.27 ERA) for Sunday, which will be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest.