Trent Blank improved to a Big 12-best 5-0 with a win in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader.
March 11, 2012
WACO, Texas - Baylor overcame a late-inning deficit in game one of a doubleheader against Memphis to win on a walk-off wild pitch, and the Bears wasted no time jumping out to an early lead in the second game on their way to a two-game sweep on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
Both games were scheduled to go seven innings, but the teams needed extra innings to settle the first one with the score tied 1-1 through seven. Logan Brown scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
"I think both of us (Baylor and Memphis) wanted to play very badly," head coach Steve Smith said. "It took cooperation on both sides to get this done, and really the field was remarkably playable. We still had some water, but it wasn't as bad as what you would think. It was good to get to play."
Game One: Baylor struggled to mount any offense against Memphis starting pitcher Dan Langfield, but the Bears did just enough in the bottom of the sixth to extend the game, and the Bears were able to take advantage of Langfield's wildness in the eighth for a 2-1 walk-off win.
"He's (Langfield) salty. He's the real deal, throws up to 97, hard breaking ball, good change, started throwing a cutter the second and third time through the order," Smith said. "I think we might have frustrated him a little bit. He wanted to work at a pretty brisk pace. We started trying to slow it down, but he's very good. We had to have some breaks to find a way to tie that game up first and then win it."
Memphis scored an early run with consecutive two-out hits in the first inning, but Josh Turley kept the Tigers in check over the next six innings. Turley struck out a career-high 11 batters and allowed only one run on five hits with one walk over 7.0 innings, but he did not factor in the decision.
Max Garner (1-1) picked up the win by retiring the side in order with nine pitches in the top half of the eighth. It was Garner's first relief appearance of the season.
The Bears recorded only three hits in the game, none of which made it through the infield, but a pair of manufactured runs were just enough.
With the Bears down 1-0 and with only one hit through five innings, Lawton Langford worked a leadoff walk in the sixth inning. Nathan Orf's sacrifice bunt moved Langford up a base, and Cal Towey moved Langford to third with an infield single. Max Muncy followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1.
Langfield struck out Josh Ludy to escape without further damage, but the Bears got to him again in the eighth. Jake Miller led off with a well-placed bunt single down the third-base line, and after Langford's sacrifice bunt moved him into scoring position, Brown came on as a pinch runner.
Brown moved to third on a wild pitch to Orf, who worked a walk. Towey was then intentionally walked to load the bases, and an 0-2 pitch to Ludy sailed over the catcher to the backstop, allowing Brown to come home with the game-winning run.
Towey, Ludy and Miller had the Bears' only hits in the game, while Brown and Langford scored Baylor's only runs. It was Baylor's first home win with two or fewer runs since a 2-1 victory over Texas A&M on April 11, 2010. The Bears won their third game this season with three or fewer runs scored, matching their total number of wins with three or fewer runs from the 2011 season.
Game Two: Baylor pounded out 10 hits in the first three innings on its way to a 7-3 win over Memphis. Trent Blank came up one out short of a complete game, but he did enough to improve to a Big 12-best 5-0 on the season.
Blank didn't allow the Tigers to put on run on the board until the sixth inning when the Bears had already built a 5-0 lead. Memphis added two more runs in the seventh, knocking Blank out of the game after 6.2 innings pitched and three runs allowed with six strikeouts.
The Bears scored five runs on 10 hits in the first three innings against Memphis starting pitcher Sam Moll. Nathan Orf led off the first inning with a triple and came home to score on Cal Towey's sacrifice fly to give Baylor a 1-0 lead. Josh Ludy and Logan Vick added singles, but they were left on base.
Logan Brown led off the second inning with a single and Jake Miller and Lawton Langford followed with consecutive bunt singles to load the bases with no outs. Moll nearly escaped the jam by getting two outs without any damage, but Max Muncy hit a sharp line drive off the glove of Memphis first baseman T.J. Rich for a RBI single.
Rich saved at least one run by knocking the ball down and keeping it from going to the right-field corner, and Moll got Ludy to flyout to escape the inning with Memphis trailing just 2-0, but the Bears finally broke through in the third.
After two quick outs, Brown reached on a bunt single, Miller followed with a single and Langford drove in a run with the Bears' third straight single. Orf then walked to load the bases, and Towey brought in two runs with a line-drive single to center field to put the Bears in front 5-0.
Blank cruised through the first five innings, allowing only one hit to Memphis' first 16 batters of the game. He induced nine groundouts and one flyout and struck out five in his first five innings of work.
The Tigers broke through with a run in the sixth after Adam McClain singled and Eli Hynes brought him home with a double, but Blank got the next three batters to end the inning. The Bears got that run back in the bottom half when Ludy singled and scored on Joey Hainsfurther's RBI single.
Memphis led off the seventh with two straight singles, but Blank induced a double-play grounder to move within an out of a complete game. Zach Willis delivered a pinch-hit RBI double and McClain knocked a RBI single to force the Bears to bring in Brad Kuntz from the bullpen. Kuntz struck out Hynes to close out the doubleheader sweep.
Baylor returns to action with four games next week. The Bears travel to UT Arlington for a 6:30 p.m. game on Tuesday before returning home to open Big 12 play with a three-game series against Texas Tech. First pitch in Friday night's series opener at Baylor Ballpark is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Game One Notes: Josh Turley recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts - his previous career high was 9 against Oklahoma on May 20, 2011 ... Turley worked 7.0 innings for the 2nd straight game - he had pitched at least 5.2 innings in 12 of his last 14 starts ... Turley has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 19 of 20 career starts ... Baylor's win was its first walk-off win of the season ... Baylor improved to 3-3 this season when scoring three or fewer runs; the Bears went 3-22 when scoring three or fewer runs last season ... Baylor won a home game with two or fewer runs scored for the first time since a 2-1 win over Texas A&M on April 11, 2010 ... Max Garner picked up his 3rd career win - all in relief ... Cal Towey extended his hitting streak to four games ... Jake Miller recorded his 3rd bunt single of the season ... Logan Vick drew his 103rd career walk - he needs eight more to crack Baylor's all-time top 10 ... Towey stole his 3rd base of the season and the 12th of his career ... Baylor has won 29 of its last 50 home games in which the opponent scored in the 1st inning ... Baylor improved to 5-2 in the all-time series against Memphis, including a 3-1 mark in games played in Waco ... Baylor improved to 8-3 at home this season and 46-21 in its last 67 games at Baylor Ballpark.
Game Two Notes: Trent Blank improved to a Big 12-best 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA ... Blank improved to 13-4 in his career, including wins in seven straight decisions dating back to 2011 ... All nine Baylor starters hit safely in the game for the first time since April 16, 2011 at Texas A&M ... Cal Towey extended his hitting streak to five games ... Nathan Orf recorded his 2nd triple of the season and the 3rd of his collegiate career dating back to two years at Illinois-Chicago ... Jake Miller (4th of season) and Lawton Langford (3rd of season) recorded back-to-back bunt singles in the 2nd inning ... Logan Brown (3rd of season) also had a bunt single ... Baylor is now 6-2 in the all-time series against Memphis, including a 4-1 mark in games played in Waco ... Baylor is 9-3 at home this season and 47-21 in its last 68 games at Baylor Ballpark.