March 15, 2011
WACO, Texas - Chris Slater struck out with a chance to end the game in the bottom of the ninth, but given a chance at redemption two innings later, the senior drilled a walk-off single to give No. 14 Baylor a 7-6 win over Florida International in 11 innings on Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark.
The win gave Baylor (12-5) head coach Steve Smith his 600th career victory. It was also the Bears' third walk-off win this season and extended BU's winning streak to seven games.
"That was great. It was just a great team effort and we fought through an early deficit and battled back," Slater said. "We had some great pitchers come in there and do a great job later on in the game. These games are just fun to be a part of."
FIU (12-6) looked like it might cruise to a win after scoring four runs in the first inning and carrying a 6-1 lead to the bottom of the fifth.
Baylor starting pitcher Trae Davis allowed four runs on three hits with three walks in the first inning, but the Baylor bullpen picked him up by holding the Panthers to two runs - one of which was earned - on five hits over the final 10 innings.
Tyler Bremer was the first to come on in relief for Baylor. He allowed one run on three hits in 2.0 innings, but the Bears got that run back in the bottom of the second. Josh Ludy led off with a single, Joey Hainsfurther drew a walk and Landis Ware brought Ludy home with a two-out RBI single.
FIU extended its lead to 6-1 with an unearned run in the fourth against Baylor reliever Brad Kuntz, but that would be the last run allowed by the Bears.
Baylor cut back into the deficit in the fifth when Brooks Pinckard doubled, stole third base and scored on Slater's sacrifice fly. After getting the final out in the fifth, FIU starting pitcher Kyle Fitzpatrick turned the ball over to his bullpen. He allowed two runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
The Bears struck quickly against the Panthers' relievers, plating three runs in the sixth to make it a one-run game. Hainsfurther walked, and after two straight strikeouts, Steve DalPorto singled, ending Logan Dodds' day in favor of Mason McVay.
Pinckard greeted McVay with a two-out, two-run double, stole third base for the second time in the game and scored when Iosmel Leon's throw back to the mound went over McVay's head.
Pinckard finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI, two stolen bases and three runs scored. Pablo Bermudez led FIU at the plate, going 3-for-5 and scoring two runs.
Kuntz retired the last seven batters he faced in order, including striking out the side in the fifth. He handed the ball to Max Garner to start the seventh. Garner issued a one-out walk to Jabari Henry, but he got a double-play grounder to get out of the inning, and then retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings.
FIU brought closer Bryam Garcia on to start the ninth, and DalPorto got the rally started by taking a leadoff walk. Pinckard followed with a bunt single, and Logan Vick's bunt was thrown away when Garcia tried to get DalPorto at third, allowing DalPorto to score and Pinckard to move to third representing the winning run.
Slater struck out, Ludy popped out behind the plate, and Hainsfurther grounded out to send the game to extra innings.
After Garner walked the first batter in the 10th, Pinckard moved from center field to the mound. He struck out each of the next four batters and got a double-play grounder after a one-out single in the 11th.
Garner struck out three in 3.0 innings of scoreless, hitless relief. Kuntz, Garner and Pinckard combined to strike out 10 and hold FIU to two singles over the final seven innings.
D.J. Swatscheno came on in relief in the bottom of the 11th and failed to record an out. Pinckard was hit by a pitch, Vick reached on a bunt single, and after both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Slater hit a 0-1 pitch over the center fielder's head for a walk-off single.
Pinckard (1-0) scored the winning run and earned the win with 2.0 innings of scoreless relief and four strikeouts. Swatscheno (1-2) took the loss for the Panthers.
The Bears continue their 14-game homestand when they open Big 12 Conference play against Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The series resumes and 3 p.m. Saturday and wraps up at 1 p.m. Sunday.