March 16, 2014
WACO, Texas- Baylor baseball nearly had a sweep of No. 23 Texas Tech in its first Big 12 series of the season but let a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning slip away for a 7-1 loss on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (10-9, 2-1 Big 12) lost just their second of 11 home games this season.
For the third straight game in the series, Baylor jumped on top of the Red Raiders (16-5, 1-2 Big 12) in the first inning. Brett Doe got things going with a one-out single. Following Mitch Price being hit by a pitch with two outs, Duncan Wendel dumped an RBI single to right field for a 1-0 lead.
BU starter Austin Stone maintained the lead through five innings of work, retiring seven straight at one point. After giving up a two-out single, Doug Ashby came on and got a swinging strikeout to preserve the lead.
Drew Tolson then took over for Ashby after a walk to start the seventh, and induced a 5-4-3 double play to help escape the inning unharmed. Tolson also got two outs in the eighth as he gave up a one-out single before walking his last batter.
From there, things got interesting. In the previous inning BU left fielder Darryn Sheppard hurt his hand on a bunt attempt, finished the at-bat but was taken out defensively in favor of Lane Kelly. The Bears brought in Sean Spicer to finish the eighth with two on and two out. He got what Baylor needed in a high fly ball to left field, but on a day with over 30 MPH winds blowing in from center no ball in the outfield was easy. Unfortunately for BU, the ball bounced in and out of Kelly's glove as he was running in to make the grab and both runners scored to give TTU a 2-1 lead.
Then the flood gates opened as Texas Tech poured on five more runs before Baylor got out of the inning. But the damage was done and the Bears never recovered.
Stone took a no-decision after allowing no runs on two hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Tolson (0-4) took a tough-luck loss as he gave up two unearned runs in 1.2 innings on a hit and walk. TTU reliever Corey Taylor (3-0) got credit for the win following a four-inning, one-walk, four-strikeout performance.
*Baylor has scored at least one run in the first inning in each of its last four games.
*Baylor is 2-1 on its current season-long, seven-game home stand.
*Baylor moved to 9-2 at Baylor Ballpark this season and is off to its best start since going 10-1 in 2009, 2007 and 2000. The program's best-ever home start to a season is 23-0-1 in 1998.
*Baylor is now 5-5 against ranked teams this season and has won two of its three series vs. ranked teams. The other series win came in a 2-1 decision over No. 3 Cal State Fullerton. The lone series loss came in a 2-1 decision at No. 19 Arizona State. Against top 25 teams, Baylor is 5-4.
*Baylor is 13-5 all-time in Big 12 opening three-game series and 15-3 in Big 12 home opening three-game series, and has won three straight in each case.
*Baylor is now 51-54 all-time in TV games and is 4-1 this season with all four wins coming vs. ranked teams. The Bears are 16-24 on the FOX family of networks as the game was televised on FOX Sports Southwest. Since 2011, BU is 21-13 in TV games.
*Baylor now trails the all-time series against Texas Tech 77-78 and leads the series in Waco 49-28.
*Lawton Langford has reached base in six straight games and has a season-high four-game hitting streak.
*Doug Ashby extended his scoreless appearance streak to five and has yet to give up an earned run all season. During the stretch he's thrown 2.2 innings while allowing four hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
*Lane Kelly made his collegiate debut as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.
STAT OF THE GAME
7 - The amount of two out runs Texas Tech scored in the eighth inning to win the game.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"I felt like we didn't do anything the first two days to lose games, therefore we were able to squeeze some runs in and get wins. Today we did some things that left us open to losing the game, and we did them from the get go. It really only caught up to us in one inning but we put ourselves out there quite a few times, and eventually you get burned." - BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor continues its season-long, seven-game home stand by facing Houston Baptist on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT before welcoming Oklahoma State for the Bears' second Big 12 series of the season next weekend. All three games vs. OSU will be televised live.