March 16, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas -- Jordan Danks' two-out solo home run down the right-field line broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth, and 10th-ranked Texas never trailed again as Baylor dropped a 3-2 decision to the Longhorns in Friday afternoon's Big 12 Conference opener for both teams at Disch-Falk Field. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Baylor (12-8, 0-1) in Big 12 openers. Texas (17-7, 1-0) has won each of the last seven meetings.
Baylor scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first. Ben Booker reached on an error to start the game and moved to third on Beamer Weems' single to right. Booker scored on Aaron Miller's RBI ground out, and Tim Jackson plated Weems with a sacrifice fly.
Texas got a run back in the fourth on Kyle Russell's one-out solo homer down the line in right. However, it was the fifth inning that cost the Bears. With one out and no runners on base, Travis Tucker beat out an infield single and moved to third on a muffed pickoff attempt. Chance Wheeless followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Danks hit the next pitch well over the 325-foot sign in right.
The loss spoiled another strong outing by Baylor starter Jeff Mandel (2-4), who allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 6.1 innings. Mandel has been given a total of nine runs of support in his four losses and is averaging just 4.0 runs of support in six starts.
Meanwhile, Texas starter James Russell (4-2) was even more impressive, holding Baylor to the two unearned runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 6.2 innings. Randy Boone retired the side in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
The series now moves to Baylor Ballpark for the final two games. Baylor and Texas meet Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CDT. The Bears send right-hander Kendal Volz (2-0, 4.79 ERA) to the mound, opposite Longhorn right-hander Adrian Alaniz (5-1, 2.14 ERA).
NOTE: Texas leads the all-time series 219-97-4, including a 128-31-1 advantage in games played in Austin. This is the most-played series in Baylor baseball history. ... The series is tied 20-20 since the inception of the Big 12 Conference; Baylor holds a 17-14 advantage in regular-season meetings during that time. ... The Bears lead the series 25-23 during head coach Steve Smith's tenure. ... Baylor is 29-19 in conference openers since 1960, covering time in both the Southwest and Big 12 conferences. The Bears are 8-3 in Big 12 openers. ... This is the fourth consecutive season in which Baylor has opened Big 12 play against a ranked opponent. ... Booker extended his hitting streak to five games, one shy of his career long. ... Baylor has lost six consecutive games on an opponent's home field.