March 10, 2008
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Paul Miles and Landis Ware provided two RBI each, and Willie Kempf enjoyed turned in a career-long outing as No. 10 Baylor defeated Mississippi State 6-3 in Sunday's series finale. The win gave Baylor (11-1) the series sweep, its first three-game series sweep on the road since 2005 at Kansas. The Bears also have won their first three road games of the season for the first time since 1993.
Baylor grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI singles from Dustin Dickerson and Ware. The Bears pushed their lead to 5-0 in the sixth; Miles connected on a two-run double and then scored on a Ware groundout.
That proved to be all the offense Baylor starter Willie Kempf would need to earn the victory. Kempf (2-0) lasted a career-long 7.1 innings and allowed three runs on 10 hits and three walks with four strikeouts. His previous long outing was 5.0 innings on three occasions. Nick Cassavechia got the Bears out of a jam in the eighth and then scattered a walk and a hit in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Mississippi State (5-7) made things interesting in the late innings. Ryan Collins walked to lead off the seventh, moved third on Cody Freeman's pinch-hit double and scored on Jet Butler's ground out. The Bulldogs plated two runs on three hits in the eighth but stranded a runner at second when Cassavechia forced Connor Powers into an inning-ending grounder.
Starter Rickey Bowen (1-2) took the loss for Mississippi State; he allowed five runs on six hits and three walks over seven innings.
Hornung and Dickerson both provided two-hit games for the Bears, who drew 25 walks in the three-game series sweep. Baylor pitchers also forced Mississippi State batters into seven double plays, while the Bears hit into none.
Baylor returns to action Tuesday, opening at two-game midweek set at Oral Roberts; first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT. The Bears are expected to send right-hander Tim Matthews (0-0, 4.50) to the mound for Tuesday's game with right-hander Wade Mackey (2-0, 1.54 ERA) getting the start Wednesday.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 6-3, including a 3-0 advantage in games played at Starkville. The Bears are 3-1 against Mississippi State under head coach Steve Smith. ... This was Baylor's first three-game series sweep on the road in non-conference action since sweeping at eighth-ranked Vanderbilt in 2005. ... Ben Booker saw his team-best, nine-game hitting streak end. He also failed to reach base safely for the first time in 22 games, dating back to last season. ... Hansen (seven games), Dickerson (five games), Hornung (five games), and Aaron Miller (four games) all extended hitting streaks.